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Jamie Foxx says 'Django' will make us see slavery differently

October 16, 2012|By Steven Zeitchik
  • Jamie Foxx as the title character in "Django Unchained."
Jamie Foxx as the title character in "Django Unchained." (The Weinstein Co. )

The “Django Unchained” trailer that hit the Web last week highlights a number of the movie’s unusual aspects, not least of which is the blending of Tarantino-esque revenge western with one of the most shameful chapters of American history.

But star Jamie Foxx said the shamefulness will come through loud and clear.

“This is the truest depiction of slavery [on screen], in terms of how tough and brutal it was,” the actor told 24 Frames. “When you see the movie you’ll automatically go back to the time and the way slaves were treated.”

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He added, “It’s really going to make people look at the time in a different way.”

Foxx plays the titular Django, a fugitive slave who joins up with a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) to find the villainous Brittle brothers. Foxx agrees to help the bounty hunter in the hope he can win his freedom as well as rescue the love of his life (Kerry Washington), who is being exploited by a cruel slave-owner (Leonardo DiCaprio).

Tarantino brings  a genre spin to the subject of slavery that one wouldn’t find in, say, “Roots” or “Amistad.” But it’s an element that Foxx believes distinguishes the film.

“The only thing Django really wants to do is love his woman, and that’s what makes our story different than any old slavery movie,” Foxx said. “We deal with the political, but he’s not trying to cure slavery. He just wants to ride into the sunset with his woman.”

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It’s this aspect, Foxx said, that will resonate with the moviegoing public — even more, perhaps, than the film's theme of justice. “What’s going to connect with everyone is the love story,” he said.

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