Writer/producer/director Reginald Hudlin has had his own success as a filmmaker with movies like “House Party” and “Boomerang.” But these days, he’s also celebrating his work as a producer on “Django Unchained,” the Oscar-winning movie starring Jamie Foxx directed by Quentin Tarantino. Hudlin joins only three other African-Americans to be nominated or included in a nomination for Best Picture. Years ago, Hudlin and his good friend Tarantino had a conversation about slavery movies where Hudlin expressed his dissatisfaction with ones that he’s seen.
“Over a decade ago, Quentin and I were talking about movies about slavery and I brought up my frustration with most of them,” Hudlin told Ebony.com. “I had no interest in seeing yet another movie about noble suffering. I wanted to see foot to ass. There were all kinds of Black people who stood up and fought back, including members of my own family. I wanted to see stories about them.” Ten years later, Tarantino showed Hudlin the script for “Django” and brought him aboard as a producer. Hudlin will be on The Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage Cruise taking place this year April 7-14 and is screening “Django Unchained’ on board the ship. He talked to the Tom Joyner Morning Show about his work on the film.
TOM JOYNER: Reggie Hudlin, my man
REGINALD HUDLIN: Yes, sir! How you doin”?
Tom: Doing good, man. Thanks for bringing the movie on the ship, “Django Unchained.”
Reggie: I’m happy to do so. Can’t wait to be there.
J. ANTHONY BROWN: You ain’t sending it. You don’t trust these Negroes.
SYBIL WILKES: Never out of your sight.
Tom: When you did Django with Quentin Tarantino, did you know there was going to be some controversy about how many times the “N” word was used in the movie? That it was coming from Tarantino?
Sybil: Did you anticipate that?
Reggie: We knew the movie was going to be controversial period. When it comes to the topic of slavery, we as a people are conflicted about how we feel about it. When we look at the Jewish community, they’re very clear when it comes to the painful parts of their heritage, like the Holocaust. Their attitude is “Never Forget.” We’re like, we can’t wait to forget. Their strategy seems to be working for them better than ours is working for us.
Tom Joyner: Why didn’t you just call the movie “The Nat Turner Story?” You didn’t think that would sell?
Reggie: The fact is, he, Quentin wanted to make it a western, which I thought was clever. Because when you say slavery people say I don’t want to see that, that’s going to be depressing. But when you say it’s a western, well, you know what happens in a western. You know the good guys are going to win and the bad guys are going to get punched, which is what happens in “Django.”
Tom: Because if you did a slave movie, like Nat Turner, Django has to die.
Reggie: That’s correct. I do not want any symbolic victories. I want victory victories.
Tom: And besides, are you already planning on Part 2?
Reggie: Well, you know, Quentin does not typically do sequels to his films.
Sybil: “Kill Bill 2 and 3?”
Reggie: Well, “Kill Bill” was actually supposed to be one movie. It was just so long, they cut it into two parts.
Reggie: But that said, if he changed his mind and decided to make another Django movie, I think thare’d be widespread support for that. So we’ll see what he decides to do.
Tom: I’m dressing up, we’re all dressing up as characters in the movie “Django,” Reggie.
Reggie: I heard. Now which character are you going to play?
Tom: I don’t like this, I don’t like this. Chris Paul is Big Daddy. I’m Candy. I’m DiCaprio. I’m a mean white man and I don’t like that. I don’t like that.
J. Anthony Brown: That’s typecasting.
Tom: Guess who casted all of us in the “Django” costumes?
Reggie: Of course.
Sybil: Of course, exactly.
J.Anthony Brown: You know who I am, right? Samuel L. Jackson. Which I had a problem with the movie. The only problem I had was he didn’t ham it up enough. (Laughter). There was no hambone (Laughter).
Tom: Well, thanks Reggie for coming on the show and showing the movie.
Reggie: All right man, my pleasure.