Jackson takes dark turn in 'Django Unchained'

LAPACAZO SANDOVAL Special to the AmNews | 12/28/2012, 3:12 p.m.

Stephen may be old and appear frail, but his dark soul is cold and his mind is sharp. He did raise the twisted young Calvin, played well by nice guy Leonardo DiCaprio.

When Django arrives, riding a horse and holding a gun but not his tongue, he is like, "F-- no, this is not going to work. These slaves better understand this s--. This is not going to ever happen to you. Don't dare dream." He is an anomaly and he had to cut him down. If the audience despises me, well, then I've done my job!

You did your job. I hate that character. QT can write, there is no way around that fact. I love how he shared that he actually hears your voice when creating key characters. A nice compliment, don't you agree? (On this, Jackson adjusted his tall, fit frame on the sofa and fixed me with a stare, as if to say, "Sista, please!")

SJ: Quentin and I watch and enjoy the same type of films. So he writes those types of films and I get to play characters that I love.

AN: Yes, nice how that works out for everyone, including the audience. Here's a new wrinkle--I never took QT for a romantic softy. This is pure adrenaline-pumping Tarantino--in rare form to boot--but, Sam, it's a love story.

SJ: Sure, it is about that kind of love. Broomhilda is Django's ride-or-die chick. He had an opportunity to rescue her so he took it. Her life, as a comfort woman for the Mandingo fighters, is a far better position than picking cotton, for sure, for sure, but still a hard life in the big house. It was not legal for slaves to marry, but she and Django did and got punished when they tried to run away. Their backs are crisscrossed from the overseers' lashes. Then they are branded with an "R" on their faces. R for runaway.

Anything that really hit you, in your gut, while you were filming this feature?

SJ: Sure. Absolutely. We were shooting at Evergreen Plantation, which was a working plantation. I look around and there are all these Black extras dressed in period clothing and picking cotton in the field. I was like, "Oh, s--, we are doing this. We are doing this s-- for real."

"Django Unchained" opened Christmas Day.