Kerry Washington, who stars in Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, “Django Unchained,” a revenge flick centered on the brutal reality of slavery in the pre-Civil War South, told ABC News Radio that filming the movie in locations where slavery once existed was moving, to say the least.
“We were shooting at an actual slave plantation…where my character is whipped,” said Washington, who also heads up the ABC drama “Scandal.” “[Y]ou’re doing it in this alley of trees where you know hundreds of years ago that very same sound was echoing through that alley of oak trees, is tremendously heartbreaking.”
Washington said the reality of the situation “really added another layer of responsibility.”
“Django Unchained” grossed a projected $14 million on its first day of release, Christmas Day, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Only one film did better: “Les Miserables,” which also opened on Christmas, is projected to have made $17.5 million.
One person who likely did not spend his Christmas Day watching “Django Unchained” was Spike Lee.
The filmmaker, who often tackles race in America in his movies, says that the Tarantino film, which also stars Jamie Foxx as a slave-turned-bounty hunter who attempts to save his wife, played by Washington, from a plantation owner, is offensive.
“I’m not gonna see it,” he told Vibe Magazine, when asked about the movie. “All I’m going to say is that it’s disrespectful to my ancestors. That’s just me….I’m not speaking on behalf of anybody else.”
Lee also took to Twitter to voice his frustration with the film, saying, “American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them.”
The film, which Tarantino has described as a Western, is set in Texas in the mid-1800s. It has made headlines for its use of the “N” word — which characters say more than 100 times — and graphic scenes.