Quentin Tarantino ordered Jamie Foxx to put his celebrity aside and "get to the slave" in order to play the title character in "Django Unchained," the director's new slave-revenge fantasy film presented at Comic-Con on Saturday.
Foxx said the director gave him a tough message before the shoot began:
"He pulled me aside and said, 'I'm worried you can't get to that slave,'" Foxx told a packed crowd in Hall H in San Diego. "What he said is, 'You live your life as Jamie Foxx, as a celebrity. How do you strip everything away and get to the slave? Let everything go.' He said to throw that out the door so we can get to the work. "
The director brought cast members, fresh from the shoot in full beards and flowing hair, to a raucous room full of fans and showed an excerpt from the film about a slave who becomes a bounty hunter and hunts down white men.
The crowd roared their approval for the four-minute sizzle reel that showed Foxx teaming up with a white bounty hunter, played by Christoph Waltz (from "Inglourious Basterds") to seek revenge.
As is required in a Tarantino film, rocking funk music accompanies scenes of blood-splattered massacres. They shoot heads off with rifles, and as Django finds his character, he wreaks his vengeance with a bullwhip.
Don Johnson and Leonardo DiCaprio play slave owners.
Foxx came in a black fedora and super-cool beard, Waltz sported a bushy gray beard and Johnson had his long hair in a ponytail.
Tarantino (left) said he discussed the character's transformation with Foxx. "Django is sixth from the seventh in this slave train. He's got to be anonymous in the chain gang. He has to become a hero."
Foxx said he had experience with racism growing up that helped him find the character. "Being called 'nigger' was something I had to deal with coming from the South. I was able to grasp what was in the script, because it had been done to me."
The movie from will be out at the end of the year from The Weinstein Company.