Leonardo DiCaprio talks Django Unchained

Django Unchained will find Leonardo DiCaprio playing the villain for the first time in his career, and the star has revealed that becoming Calvin Candie was a stomach-churning experience.

“This was my first attempt at playing a character that had this much disdain for. It was an incredibly uncomfortable environment to be in,” says DiCaprio. “I’ve seen racism growing up but the degree I had to treat other people in this film was disturbing. It was a very uncomfortable situation.

“One of the pivotal moments for me and this character, was this initial read-through, and I brought up, ‘Do we need to push it this far? Does it need to be this violent?’” he continues. “And [ the actors and Quentin ] said, ‘If you sugar coat this people are going to resent the hell out of you.’ By holding the character back you’re going to do an injustice to the film. That was the thing that ignited me into going where I did with the character.

“Once I did even more research, read about the sugar plantations, we’re just scratching the surface. It’s a subject matter that should be looked at more often. I commend Quentin for combining so many different genres and making the subject matter entertaining for an audience.

“At the core of it what was great was a group of actors who were all there for one another to support and drive each other. Honestly it felt like we were cheerleaders for each other.”

Co-starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Kerry Washington, Django Unchained opens in the UK on 18 January 2013.

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