HOLLYWOOD — [movie id="404229"]“Inglourious Basterds”[/movie] is a film about a group of sadistic soldiers who conspire to slaughter the audience during the first screening of a movie. It’s also [movieperson id="100683"]Quentin Tarantino[/movieperson]‘s love letter to the power of the cinema. It seems only natural, then, that the two biggest movie stars in the world would attend the Monday premiere of a movie about a movie premiere.
“Interesting, I didn’t put that together,” [movieperson id="50260"]Brad Pitt[/movieperson] grinned on the red carpet at the Mann Chinese Theatre, moments before grabbing [movieperson id="31834"]Angelina Jolie[/movieperson] to head inside. “That’s surreal. I’m going to go have a little ‘Nam flashback now!”
“It’s incredible, especially considering that I directed the movie-within-the-movie, and I’m in the movie that’s the actual movie we’re going to see,” added director/actor Eli Roth, who not only plays one of the Nazi-hunting soldiers in “Basterds,” but also shot the film that hosts an Adolf Hitler-attended premiere in Tarantino’s tale. “I feel like I’m going to the premiere of one of my own movies, but as actor and director. It’s very meta.”
Equally surreal was the evening of a few hundred lucky fans, as Brad and Angelina broke free of their security after arriving, spontaneously running through traffic and over to the screaming crowd across Hollywood Boulevard for photos and handshakes. Back on the carpet, the talk of the evening hinged on one question: Are you a “basterd,” and is that a good thing?
“Yes, I am, and yes, it is,” laughed Pitt, who plays regime leader Aldo Raine in the flick.
“Oh, I’m definitely a basterd,” insisted Tarantino, who meant it in both the purposely misspelled German of the film’s title, and the real spelling as well. “I’m a literal bastard. My mom wasn’t married! So, I am a bastard.”
There are few joys to true cinephiles as exciting as the release of a new Tarantino film. So, as the audience poured into the theater to see “Inglourious” two weeks before its August 21 release, they appreciated that star and director had decided to be basterds together.
“He’s one of the greatest directors in the world,” Pitt said of why he was so eager to work with the filmmaker, some 16 years after a near-miss collaboration when he had a cameo in the Tarantino-written flick “True Romance.” “He’s one of our auteurs. He’s got a very specific voice, and there’s no one like him. He’s changed the game a few degrees, and continues to do so.”
But as anyone who has ever seen a Tarantino flick knows, the man possesses a sharp, sickly sense of humor. So, as he went inside to sit next to Brangelina and premiere the film, he couldn’t help but look forward to the scene where Pitt and his Basterds attempt to burn down a movie theater full of Nazis.
“What’s going to be really good is that, as the movie’s going on, and the premiere audience sees what happens to the premiere audience in our movie, I’m hoping it’s like, ‘Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. Hey, wait a minute!’ ” Tarantino laughed. ” ‘This isn’t so funny!’ ”
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