Diane Kruger Had a Hard Time Being Hired by Quentin Tarantino Because He Doubted She Was German
Diane Kruger was able to clinch a pivotal role in the Quentin Tarantino film Inglourious Basterds. But she originally had a hard time being cast in the film because Tarantino was skeptical about her true nationality.
Quentin Tarantino once refused to let Diane Kruger audition for ‘Inglourious Basterds’
Diane Kruger was already a prominent actor before her role in Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. But being an accomplished actor somewhat worked against Kruger’s favor when she first collaborated with the filmmaker. This was because Tarantino had already seen one of Kruger’s movies. And because Tarantino didn’t like that movie, he was reluctant to give the actor an opportunity.
“He auditioned everyone. He didn’t want to audition me because he saw a movie that I was in he didn’t like. So he didn’t believe in me from the get-go,” Kruger said on the Reign with John Smith podcast. “Literally, the only reason he auditioned me is because there was no one left to audition.”
But Kruger was determined to prove Tarantino wrong, and was willing to go through quite a few obstacles to do so.
“I had to pay for my own flight from New York to go to Germany because he wouldn’t, even though, obviously, he’s American, but he wouldn’t see me in the U.S.,” she said. “So I had to jump through all these hoops that definitely put my nose out of joint, but I was like, ‘You know what? F*** him! I’m just gonna do that and prove to him that I can do it.’ And thankfully it all worked out.”
Quentin Tarantino didn’t believe Diane Kruger was really German
Despite her credentials, there was another reason why Tarantino didn’t think Kruger was completely right for the job. In a resurfaced interview with Geek Tyrant, Kruger observed that Tarantino was very cautious about who he cast in his films.
“He’s so infamous for only hiring the people he thinks are 100% right for the job. And he’s really one of the last directors in Hollywood who gets away with that. He would not have hired Brad Pitt if he thought he was not Aldo Raine,” she said.
Kruger was no exception to the rule. So when Tarantino questioned her nationality, this created yet another obstacle for the actor to overcome.
“It was hard for me to get the job, he had someone else in mind. He didn’t believe I was German. He saw every actress in Germany, everyone. So you gotta deliver in the room,” she said.
But after she scored the part, there were little problems between herself and Tarantino. Although playing her Inglourious Basterds character proved challenging in other aspects.
“Once I got hired, it was a walk in the park. There were obviously days that were stressful. I mean it was definitely a very challenging part for me. I’ve never been allowed, in America at least, to ever play such a strong, fierce [character],” she said.
Why Quentin Tarantino ended up strangling Diane Kruger in ‘Inglourious Basterds’
There’s a scene in the film involving Christoph Waltz’s character choking Kruger’s. But after Kruger was done filming her portion of the movie, Tarantino suggested to Kruger that he should replace Waltz in the scene. Which Kruger didn’t mind.
“It was my last day, and I was kinda sad to leave. And knock knock, Quentin’s at my trailer. He comes in and he’s like, ‘Ya know, Christoph is just an actor. And he’s probably gonna squeeze too hard or not enough. I just know exactly what I want so think I should do it,’” Kruger recalled Tarantino telling her.
Ironically, Tarantino was more careful doing the scene with Kruger than Waltz was.
“So he’s over me chocking me, and he’s so sweet. He didn’t want to hurt me, obviously. He was a lot less tough than Christoph was in the large shots. But I couldn’t tell him,” she said.