Quentin Tarantino is responsible for some of the most iconic and memorable characters and lines of dialogue in contemporary cinema, dating all the way back to the opening coffee shop scene in Reservoir Dogs. It seems like every time he releases a new film, some new character gets added to the pop culture list as someone who will be quoted years from now, though Hateful Eight may have been lacking of any breakout characters or lines.
While speaking recently at the Jerusalem Film Festival though, the legendary filmmaker revealed his personal favorite character he’s ever created or written, and no, it’s not one from either Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs.
Instead, it’s possibly the greatest villain he’s ever created, Christoph Waltz’s Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds:
“[Hans] Landa is the best character I’ve ever written and maybe the best I ever will write. I didn’t realize [when I was first writing him] that he was a linguistic genius. He’s probably one of the only Nazis in history who could speak perfect Yiddish.”
This doesn’t come as that big of a surprise honestly, since last year at San Diego Comic-Con, Tarantino revealed that the favorite and best scene he’d ever written (in his opinion), was the opening scene with Landa in Basterds, which features him intimidating a French farmer into revealing the location of the Jews hiding under his floorboards.
The role was a breakout part for Waltz as well, and is often regarded as being one of cinema’s most memorable and greatest villains to date, and it’s not hard to see why. Funny, terrifying, and always despicable, Hans Landa is the kind of character that only Tarantino could have come up with. Though, I don’t know if Jerusalem was necessarily the best place for Tarantino to make a joke about his Nazi villain being able to speak Yiddish.
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