NPR FOR THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t



When Christoph Waltz auditioned for the role of SS officer Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, he read the passage assigned for the audition, then kept going until he had gone through the entire role as Tarantino himself filled in for the other parts. “It was partly hilarious, partly just fabulous, partly scary,” Waltz tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross. “And we arrived at the end and then we parted and I said to the casting director, ‘If this should have been it, it was definitely worth it,’ and, well, then they called me back.” Waltz wound up winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor the following year for his portrayal of Landa, and, at age 53, officially breaking into the Hollywood scene. The success of Inglourious Basterds changed his life, he says, and working with Tarantino was a revelation that renewed his faith in his craft. Now he’s starring — along with Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kerry Washington — in Tarantino’s latest, Django Unchained. In this film, he plays a German bounty hunter who teams up with a former slave against a plantation owner. MORE

DEADSPIN: A large part of the fun of Tarantino’s movies is the righteous violence, of which there is plenty in Django Unchained. But it feels oddly disjointed from the thrust of the story. Tarantino has made a movie about a slave’s retribution, a riposte about a historic shame, akin to the virtuoso, magic trick he pulled off in Inglourious Basterds. But that movie felt almost preternaturally justified, blessed by the heavens even. The scene of the theater burning down as the image of Shosanna Dreyfus fills the screen, screaming “This is the face of Jewish vengeance!” has a visceral, primal power. There are touches of that here and there in Django, but mostly, this is Tarantino having fun, occasionally in ways perpendicular to the material. You want to see Django avenging the sins of a nation, exposing America’s secret shame through rage and blood, but Tarantino keeps getting in the way, pointing at this Western homage he just dreamed up, to say ain’t it cool? It is cool, sure, but Django Unchained, like Basterds, needs to be about more than is just cool; you don’t get to attach yourself to a matter of such historic import and peril like slavery and then beg off because you get entranced by repeating a shot you saw in one of your old favorite spaghetti Westerns. MORE

Jamie Fox, 45, admitted that ‘Every single thing in my life is built around race’. He told Vibe magazine: ‘Cause as black folks we’re always sensitive. As a black person it’s always racial. ‘I come into this place to do a photo shoot and they got Ritz crackers and cheese. ‘I’ll be like, ain’t this a b***h. Y’all didn’t know black people was coming.’>In the same vein he explained that if he turned up to the photo shoot and there was fried chicken and watermelon, he would also be annoyed at the stereotype. Jamie also admitted that he feels that he must act and talk in a certain way around white people and in his day-to-day job as an actor.He told the magazine: ‘But the minute I leave my house, I gotta put my other jacket on and say, ‘Hey, Thomas, Julian and Greg.’ And I gotta be a certain person.’But when I get home my other homies are like how was your day? Well, I only had to be white for at least eight hours today, [or] I only had to be white for four hours.’ MORE