Quentin Tarantino has one of the most eagerly awaited films of 2012 and most audiences won't get a first glimpse until Christmas, but that hasn't stopped speculation that it may be an Oscar contender and may be one of the Pulp Fiction filmmaker's best to date. Yet, Django Unchained may be the beginning of his filmmaking sunset, the director hinted.
In an interview with Playboy, Tarantino said that he doesn't want to be an "old-man filmmaker," and saying flat-out that he wants to "stop at a certain point."
"Directors don’t get better as they get older. Usually the worst films in their filmography are those last four at the end. I am all about my filmography, and one bad film fucks up three good ones … When directors get out-of-date, it’s not pretty."
Tarantino, who has the big 5-0 staring him in the face said he wants to come out on a creative high-note, but he's not quite sure when that end may come, though he seems to think he's most of the way there.
"I’m on a journey that needs to have an end and not be about me trying to get another job," he said. "I want this artistic journey to have a climax. I want to work toward something. You stop when you stop, but in a fanciful world, 10 movies in my filmography would be nice. I’ve made seven. If I have a change of heart, if I come up with a new story, I could come back. But if I stop at 10, that would be okay as an artistic statement."
Beyond retirement, Tarantino gave some insight to his creative process and the use of an occasional (or maybe not-so-occasional) joint while tapping his creative juices. While he partakes, he said he's completely grounded while in production.
"I wouldn’t do anything impaired while making a movie," he offered. "I don’t so much write high, but say you’re thinking about a musical sequence. You smoke a joint, you put on some music, you listen to it and you come up with some good ideas. …I don’t need pot to write, but it’s kind of cool."
Continuing, he added that he is apt to take liberties with history in order to give the audience an unexpected twist and to simply make stories his own: "You turn on a movie and know how things are going to go in most films. Every once in a while films don’t play by the rules. It’s liberating when you don’t know what’s happening next. …I thought, What about telling these kinds of stories my way - rough and tough but gratifying at the end?"
Initially, Tarantino had sought out Will Smith as Django, the title lead in the film about a slave-turned bounty hunger who sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal plantation owner, but then momentum segued toward Jamie Foxx.
"[Will and I] spent quite a few hours together over a weekend when he was in New York doing Men in Black 3. …I think half the process was an excuse for us to hang out and spend time with one another. …It just wasn’t 100 percent right, and we didn’t have time to try to make it that way."
About Leonardo DiCaprio's villain, Calvin Candie, Tarantino said that he despised the character, which is an about-face of sorts for the filmmaker who typically finds an affinity with his bad guys.
"I hated Candie, and I normally like my villains no matter how bad they are. …what I’m always trying to do…is get you to kind of like these guys, despite on-screen evidence that you shouldn’t. Despite the things they do and say and despite their agenda. I also like making people laugh at fucked-up shit."
And should the filmmaker retire as he has hinted, might he settle down? Tarantino gives his take on a more domesticated - Quentin Tarantino:
"If I had a wife, I would probably be more polite. She would make me write thank-you notes, which I won’t do on my own. I wouldn’t be such a caveman. If I want to live in Paris for a year, what the fuck? I can. I don’t have to arrange anything; I can just do it. If there is an actor or director I want to get obsessed with and study their films for the next 12 days, I can do that. The perfect person would be a Playmate who would enjoy that."