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Trivia / Inglourious Basterds

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Listed Trivia:

  • Actor-Inspired Element: Shosanna's film for the Nazis was originally going to be in French. Melanie Laurent felt it would have more of an impact if it was in English, and it was changed as a result.
  • Actor-Shared Background: Mélanie Laurent really is a French Jew. Her grandfather had survived deportation to a concentration camp in World War II. She was pleased with being the "face of Jewish vengeance" and felt he would be happy about it as well.
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  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Til Schweiger had refused to wear Nazi uniforms in films before. He took the role of Hugo Stiglitz because he'd get to kill Nazis in the film.
  • Banned Episode: Averted. This is of the very few films from The Weinstein Company to still air on television due to international and home video rights being owned by Universal.
  • Bonus Material: Stolz der Nation is included in its entirety on the DVD.
  • Billing Displacement: Christoph Waltz is credited third behind Brad Pitt and Mélanie Laurent, despite playing the most prominent role and iconic role. This is downplayed though given it's an Ensemble Cast.
  • Cast the Runner-Up:
    • At his audition in Berlin, Michael Fassbender inquired about playing Colonel Hans Landa. Quentin Tarantino replied, "Look, man, any guy that gets cast as Heathcliff is not fucking German enough to play my Landa, all right?"
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    • Til Schweiger was given a choice of roles, either Sergeant Hugo Stiglitz or Corporal Wilhelm Wicki. He chose the former.
    • Daniel Brühl was offered the roles of Major Dieter Hellstrom or Staff Seargent Wilhelm Wicki before being cast as Private First Class Fredrick Zoller.
  • The Cast Showoff: Christoph Waltz and Diane Kruger are both fluent in English and French in addition to their native German. Waltz speaks all three in the film, in addition to Italian. He speaks some Hebrew, too. Kruger speaks English and German alternately throughout the film and has to affect a thick German accent because her natural speech nearly lacks one.
  • Creator's Favorite: Not quite the whole film, but Tarantino does consider Landa the best character he's ever created.
  • The Danza: Omar Doom as Pfc. Omar Ulmer.
  • Dark Horse Casting: Melanie Laurent almost didn't get the role of Shosanna because Quentin Tarantino was worried by her fame in France - saying he wanted to "discover" someone. She assured him she wasn't so famous, and won the part.
  • Deleted Role:
    • Cloris Leachman filmed a scene as an elderly Jewish woman living in Boston, who autographs Donny's baseball bat. Although the scene was cut, Quentin has said he might use it in the prequel.
    • Maggie Cheung was cast as Madame Mimieux, the original owner of Shoshanna's cinema. She too was cut from the finished film.
  • Doing It for the Art: Rod Taylor watched hours of footage featuring Winston Churchill to properly get his movements and speech patterns learned.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Eli Roth put on thirty pounds of muscle to play the Bear Jew. He also learned to cut hair for the role from producer Pilar Savone's father Umberto at his salon in Beverly Hills.
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • In the scene where Von Hammersmark is strangled to death by Hans Landa, Quentin Tarantino decided to strangle her himself with his own hands during close-up scenes of her face, in order to add realism to her death. He strangled the actress Diane Kruger so hard that she ACTUALLY passed out. And it worked.
    • Eli Roth has stated that Tarantino repeatedly delayed filming the scene in which Donowitz beats a Nazi Officer to death, knowing that the delays would increasingly annoy Roth, and thus heighten his intensity in the scene.
  • Extremely Lengthy Creation: Quentin Tarantino spent just over a decade writing the script because, as he told Charlie Rose in an interview, he became "too precious about the page", meaning the story kept growing and expanding.
  • Fake Brit:
  • Fake Nationality: The majority of the characters are played by actors of the same nationality as their roles, as a deliberate policy. Exceptions, apart from the Fake Brit examples above:
    • Christian Berkel, who plays a French bartender, is actually German. Berkel, however, partially grew up in France.
    • Enzo G. Castellari, the Italian director of the namesake film The Inglorious Bastards, has a quasi-Remake Cameo as a German general.
    • The Indian-American Omar Doom plays the Jewish-American soldier Omar Ulmer.
    • Downplayed with Diane Kruger who is German, like her character. However years of working in Hollywood had caused her to lose most of her accent - so she joked that she had to ironically put on a fake accent to make Bridget von Hammersmark sound more German.
  • Fatal Method Acting: A near miss. During the climactic scene, the fire raging through the cinema was completely real. Unfortunately, it began to get out of hand, and the two actors in the scene were only wearing a jelly to protect their skin; the rest of the crew had fire suits. Ten seconds after Quentin Tarantino called 'cut' and everyone rushed off, the platform the actors had been standing on collapsed. The heat was so intense (2000 degrees fahrenheit) one of them passed out afterwards.
  • Method Acting:
    • Melanie Laurent worked as a film projectionist for weeks to prepare for her role.
    • Eli Roth joked that the period clothing helped make him especially aggressive, saying "wearing wool underwear will make you want to kill anything". His girlfriend also added Hannah Montana music onto his iPod to Troll him, which helped get him angry enough.
  • Multiple Languages, Same Voice Actor:
  • The Other Marty: Simon Pegg was cast as Lt. Archie Hicox but dropped out right before filming began due to scheduling conflicts with The Adventures of Tintin. Michael Fassbender then replaced him.
  • Playing Against Type: Samm Levine is better known for his nerdy Nice Guy roles in series like Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Mike Myers was reportedly a Tarantino fan, which got him his cameo in Chapter 4 "Operation Kino".
  • Referenced by...: Shoshanna's introductory scenes are a Whole Plot Reference in the music video for "The People Under the Stairs" by Ice Nine Kills.
  • Shrug of God: Quentin Tarantino is never going to reveal why he chose to spell the title 'Basterds'.
  • Similarly Named Works: The "Inglourious Basterds" misspelling was likely to avoid a lawsuit by the copyright holders of the 1978 film "The Inglorious Bastards", which was also a World War II film. Though it might also be a reflection on Raine's education.
  • Star-Making Role: This is the film that introduced Michael Fassbender (solidified in X-Men: First Class), Christoph Waltz, Mélanie Laurent, and Daniel Brühl to widespread American audiences. Emphasized with Waltz when he wound up sweeping that awards season.
  • Stunt Double: Zoë Bell doubled for both Mélanie Laurent and Diane Kruger.
  • Throw It In!: The giant swastika falling down in the final scene is real, it was a mistake that happened on the set.
  • Uncredited Role: Harvey Keitel and Samuel L. Jackson make uncredited voice cameos.
  • Voice-Only Cameo: When Hans Landa makes a deal with an Army representative to assassinate Hitler in exchange for immunity and a reward, he gives the phone to Lt. Aldo Raine, and the voice on the other end briefly tells him where to rendezvous; the voice is Harvey Keitel.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Quentin Tarantino originally sought Leonardo DiCaprio to be cast as Hans Landa, before deciding to have the character played by a native German-speaking actor.
    • Tarantino asked Adam Sandler to play Sgt. Donny Donowitz, but Sandler declined due to schedule conflicts with Funny People.
    • Tim Roth was offered the role of Lt. Archie Hicox, but declined due to his schedule to Lie to Me. Simon Pegg was offered the role, but he was busy filming The Adventures of Tintin.
    • At one point Ennio Morricone was onboard to compose the score but backed out due to his belief that he would be unable to work efficiently in the amount of time given.
    • In the screenplay, the first part of the film set in Paris was intended to have been filmed in black and white, using entirely natural lighting, in reference to the French New Wave.
    • As Quentin has noted, he at one point responded to the length of the material he'd written with a decision to make it a miniseries. As it stands, he's noted that he has enough for a second film, which he may or may not make eventually.
    • Albert Finney was originally supposed to play Winston Churchill, a role he previously played in the telemovie The Gathering Storm.
    • Michael Madsen was slated to appear as a character called Babe Buchinsky, but did not appear in the final film.
    • Jean Reno was the original choice for Perrier LaPadite.
    • Nastassja Kinski was in talks for Bridget Von Hammersmark; Tarantino even flew to Germany to meet the actress, but a deal wasn't reached.
    • The original draft of the script had Shoshanna as a far more active member of the French resistance, sniping at Nazis from rooftops and even having a kill list of known German officials. But when Tarantino made Kill Bill, those details were worked into the film, and he felt it was more in character for Shoshanna to keep a low profile.
    • The original draft also had Wilhelm surviving being shot by Bridget von Hammersmark, and he would tell Landa that she was the double agent.
    • According to Eddie Murphy, he was in talks with Quentin Tarantino for a role in the film.
    • In the original script, a Nazi who had a swastika carved onto his forehead during one of the Basterd's previous operations recognizes Donny at the theater.
    • The original script has a flashback where Donny has his neighbors write the names of relatives who are dead or unaccounted for in the Holocaust on his baseball bat after joining the Army.
    • In the original script, Utvich poses as the chauffeur of Bridgette and her guests despite not knowing how to drive.
  • Word of God: According to Quentin Tarantino, Aldo Raine is the great grandfather of Floyd - Brad Pitt's character in True Romance.
  • Working Title: Once Upon a Time in Nazi Occupied France.


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