Jarrett talks Tarantino and Django Unchained
MERYL Streep can’t even perfect our turn of phrase, so John Jarratt reckons Quentin Tarantino’s efforts to nail an Aussie accent in Django Unchained are pretty bloody good.
Jarratt, best known for Wolf Creek, says Tarantino worked really hard on the accent and did it remarkably well.
‘‘I said there will be a lot of Aussies that pick it but the rest of the world won’t,’’ says Jarratt, who acts alongside Tarantino in his cameo scene.
‘‘He made a fair fist of it. It’s a tough accent. I mean Meryl couldn’t get it right (as Lindy Chamberlain in Evil Angels). ‘Dingo stole my baby’. If she can’t do it, no one can.’’
Tarantino never intended to cameo in Django Unchained, although he appears in many of his own films, including Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction.
Jarratt was to film his scene with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and fellow Aussie Anthony LaPaglia but filming was pushed back and both dropped out.
‘‘The film finished after I shot our sequence and by that time Anthony and Joseph had other commitments that clashed so we ended up getting (US actor) Michael Parks . . . and Quentin being an Aussie with me. I think it just got to the stage where (Quentin) thought, ‘oh bugger it, I’ll do it’.’’
When casting his films, Tarantino often uses the same actors. He says he likes to surround himself with nice people who are fun to work with. He doesn’t want to work with actors deemed difficult and grumpy but worth it for their talent.
‘‘I have a huge big, long list of people I’d like to see and like to consider and the only thing you have to be to be on my list, is I have to like you and you have to be alive,’’ he says. Jarratt ticked both the boxes. Tarantino sent a script, said ‘‘you’re playing Floyd’’. Jarratt said, ‘‘OK’’.
The pair have been friends since 2003, when the director came to Australia for Kill Bill Vol. 1 and asked to meet him.
‘‘He got off the plane with Kill Bill and said, ‘I want to meet John Jarratt, he’s my favourite Australian actor’,’’ Jarratt says.
This was pre- Wolf Creek, when Tarantino, an avid fan of Australian film, knew Jarratt from his career stretching back into the 1970s.
‘‘He likes Aussies, the old Quen,’’ Jarratt says. Tarantino, he adds, knows more about Australia and the local film industry than he does.
He says Tarantino has Ozploitation nights, inviting friends over to watch Australian movies. In Django Unchained, old slang words like ‘‘malarkey’’ came from the director’s knowledge.
Jarratt says he’s always annoying Tarantino to make a film in Australia.
‘‘It would just be a rotten shame if he got through his life and he didn’t make an Aussie film . . . his Quentin-ssential Aussie film with Aussie actors and Aussie crews,’’ he says.
‘‘We’ve just got to find an interesting subject for him to hang it off.’’
At the moment though, Jarratt says Tarantino is ‘‘flat out like a lizard drinking’’.
Django Unchained won two Golden Globes and is nominated for five Academy Awards, though Tarantino is noticeably absent in the Best Director category.
John Jarratt (left) in