As an interview subject, Tarantiono is affable, open, and enthusiastic about sharing his adoration of movies—a journalist’s dreams. Readers will enjoy the interesting and provocative comments about about his own movies and about cinema in general, and also about his unusual life. He is frank and revealing about growing up in Los Angeles with a single, half-Cherokee mother, and dropping out of ninth grade to take acting classes. Lost and confused, he still managed a gutsy ambition: young Quentin decided he would be a filmmaker.
At the bottom of this post is the opening scene from Inglorious Basterds in which we are introduced to Colonel Hans Landa, played brilliantly by Christoph Waltz. Waltz would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance.
Tarantino talks about Waltz/Landa in several later interviews in the book. A brief sample is below. First, in an interview with Ella Taylor that appeared in the Village Voice:
ET: Christoph Waltz, who plays the evil S.S. colonel, Landa, walks away with the movie.QT: He’s one in a million. Landa is one of the best characters I’ve ever written. He comes from a long line of suave, charming [film] Nazis. I tried to have the audience, almost against their will, invest in him being a detective. You want him to figure out what the basterds are doing just to see what he’ll do.
And in an interview with Matt Elfman from Screencrave:
Q: How did you come to cast Christoph Waltz as Landa?
QT: I didn’t have anyone in mind, and I honestly didn’t know who Christoph was when he came in. He’s a TV actor in Germany, well known for doing miniseries and stuff. He picked up the script and halfway through the reading of that first scene, I knew I had found my guy. It was great because [with Christoph] the character could become the character I wrote: Landa, a linguistic genius. If that character on the page is going to get on the screen, that doesn’t mean just fluent in languages. That means an actor who is a linguistic genius, and that is Christoph.