Diane Kruger Explains Why Quentin Tarantino Didn’t Want To Cast Her In 'Inglourious Basterds'

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  • Quentin Tarantino
    Quentin Tarantino
    American film director, screenwriter, producer, and actor
Photo credit: Rabbani and Solimene Photography - Getty Images
Photo credit: Rabbani and Solimene Photography - Getty Images

Diana Kruger has recently entered the spotlight again after starring in the action thriller The 355. But over a decade ago, she almost missed out on a major role in one of Quentin Tarantino's most famous films.

In 2009 Kruger landed a role in the hit film Inglourious Basterds, in which she starred as a popular film star in Nazi Germany.

Fast forward to now and the 45-year-old has revealed that the film's writer and director didn't initially want her to audition for the role.

Speaking on the Reign with John Smith podcast, she recently said: 'He didn't believe in me from the get-go.'

Kruger explained this was due to the director seeing a film in which she starred that he didn't like. 'Literally, the only reason he auditioned me is because there was no one left to audition,' she claimed.

Explaining that she had to pay for her own flight from New York to Germany, and that Tarantino wouldn't see her while there, Kruger said: 'So I had to jump through all these hoops that definitely put my nose out of joint, but I was like, "You know what? F**k him! I'm just gonna do that and prove to him that I can do it". And thankfully it all worked out.'

Kruger went on to win numerous awards for her role in the film, and a nomination for an 'Outstanding Performance' accolade at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Understanding that life can sometimes be 'unfair', she continued: 'You've gotta change the narrative.'

Speaking about Tarantino, she added: 'I think for him, too, that must've been a lesson. Sometimes you are the one that puts — and I'm sure I'm guilty of that too — you put people in boxes. You think they're gonna be one way and then they're not at all.'

Photo credit: Jeff Vespa - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jeff Vespa - Getty Images

Around the time of the film's release, Tarantino - who's also behind recent acclaimed films such as Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood and Django - received criticism in relation to a scene in which Kruger's character is strangled.

The uproar came after he acted out this moment with Kruger himself, for on-camera realism.

'I get strangled, which was especially weird because you feel it when someone is choking you, so it was an interesting day at the office. The funny part is that Quentin's hands are in the close-up,' Kruger told Parade at the time.

'I have to say it was very strange being strangled by the director,' she continued.

But Kruger defended Tarantino in the wake of the controversy.

In 2018, she wrote on Instagram: 'I would like to say that my work experience with Quentin Tarantino was pure joy. He treated me with utter respect and never abused his power or forced me to do anything I wasn’t comfortable with. With love, D xoxo'

Tarantino also addressed the issue when speaking to Deadline in the same year.

Explaining the scene, he said: 'When I did Inglourious Basterds, and I went to Diane and I said, "Look, I've got to strangle you. If it's just a guy with his hands on your neck, not putting any kind of pressure and you're just doing this wiggling death rattle, it looks like a normal movie strangulation. It looks movie-ish.

But you're not going to get the blood vessels bulging or the eyes filling it with tears, and you're not going to get the sense of panic that happens when your air is cut off. What I would like to do — with your permission — is just … commit to choking you, with my hands, in a close-up. We do it for 30 seconds or so, and then I stop. If we need to do it a second time, we will. After that, that's it. Are you down to committing to it so we can get a really good look? It'll be twice, and only for this amount of time."'

He added: 'The stunt guy was monitoring the whole thing.'

Kruger's experience on set of Inglourious Basterds was seemingly different to that of her recent film The 355, also starring Jessica Chastain and Penélope Cruz.

In an interview with Women's Health, released last month, Kruger spoke about being a mother while filming the film.

Kruger, who shares her three-year-old daughter with partner Norman Reedus, said: 'One thing that was wonderful about this film was that many of us were mothers. We were allowed to bring our children to set and had a trailer for the kids.'

'That was a lovely thing, where you can sense that the producer is a woman with a child.'

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