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Anthony LaPaglia Exited 'Django Unchained,' Says Production Was "Out Of Control"

by Kevin Jagernauth
August 17, 2012 2:12 PM
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Anthony LaPaglia, Django Unchained

As "Django Unchained" made its way in front of cameras, Quentin Tarantino saw both the cast and script for his upcoming slavery/western/vengeance pic change as production moved along. Joseph Gordon-Levitt had to bail on his small role in the film, Kevin Costner couldn't commit to his role either, Sacha Baron Cohen had to bow out, and Kurt Russell also exited the picture (and while Jonah Hill did initially turn down the movie due to scheduling, he was able to join later on, albeit in a different role). And it looks like yet another actor left the project over timing.

As his shooting days kept getting changed, Aussie actor Anthony LaPaglia found the schedule between "Django Unchained" running up against his role in Robert Connolly's Julian Assange film "Underground," which he signed on for this spring. And when push came to shove, he sided with Connolly who he had worked with before on "Balibo" -- and he doesn't mince words about what he saw happening on Tarantino's film. "The production was just out of control, over-budget, it was everywhere. I had to formally withdraw. They recast it and they still haven't shot anything. I could have said nothing and just hung out, I could be there shooting it now," he told Australian site News, about the film which wrapped at the end of July.

And it seems the filmmakers thought LaPaglia would and should have bailed on "Underground" to keep waiting to work with Tarantino. "The people at 'Django,' their attitude more or less was, 'Just dump the other film,' but I couldn't do it out of respect to Rob Connolly, out of respect to the material, out of respect to the commitment I'd made," he said, noting that if he bailed on "Underground" it might have caused the entire film to collapse, as financing was raised and backed on his name.

Originally, LaPaglia was going to feature alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt, with the pair playing "mean brothers." In the script we read, these are some pretty small parts, amounting to only about 12 pages, but they participate in a comedic and crucial key scene near the end of the movie. But Tarantino has also clearly been changing things since then, so it remains to be seen whether those roles are still in the movie.

Regardless, his comments are an interesting perspective on the making the film. "Django Unchained" opens on Christmas Day.

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  • | October 1, 2012 3:02 AMReply

    Yes, very interesting indeed, I guess, considering some of Tarantino's other films. I didn't know that he filmed like that. Things being over budget and what not. It's kind of interesting hearing that perspective. I can't wait to see Jamie Fox do his thing, though, you know. Seeing him as a slave is going to be wierd, but what are you going to do? You know. I just hope this movie doesn't have Morgan Freeman in it!

  • Orville | September 26, 2012 2:05 PMReply

    I think some actors bailed because of the controversial subject matter. Let's face it slavery is not a topic that some Americans and some people want to discuss and the legacy of American slavery still exists in the USA. I really think some actors just didn't want to be in an incendiary film and were concerned more about their image than about the film.

  • Pointdexter | September 21, 2012 9:39 PMReply

    If Quentin Tarantino were head of the Olympics Committee, toe sucking would be one of the events.

    Qt's nickname is the King of Sole. Get it? Sole. S-O-L-E.

  • tmack | September 19, 2012 8:49 PMReply

    If you are looking for a conventionally produced and directed film, don't sign up for a Quarantino production. Duh! From what I've read about his sets, one should expect an unexpected, chaotic experience that eventually greases up into a slick production...but you got to have faith, you have to have the time, and you've got to pitch in. Not every actor can do that.

  • Manale | September 16, 2012 5:02 PMReply

    Hey everybody, gather 'round and let me tell you how honorable I am.

  • seanpaulmahoney | September 16, 2012 1:07 PMReply

    Um. Duh, Anthony. Every Tarrantino film after Pulp Fiction has been over-budget and out of control! Jackie Brown is filled with tales of reshoots, new scripts and ballooned budgets. Kill Bill was legendary for being a crazy hot mess that spiraled out of control. I have friends who worked on Kill Bill for over two years! That's just how Quentin rolls. LaPagilla should have sucked it up. Could have put him back on the map as an actor and not just CBS primetime roadkill.

  • Bradley Paul Valentine | September 16, 2012 7:24 AMReply

    Are you guys kidding? It’s an actor saying he made an honorable choice and another guy who didn’t seem to really care if he stuck around or not sucks. Treat yourself to some drummed up positive press, bravo!

  • AustralianMovielover | September 15, 2012 12:39 AMReply

    Anthony La Paglia is a hero.

  • pointtaken | September 14, 2012 11:39 AMReply

    Mr. LaPaglia, an honorable man. Bravo.

  • Pointdexter | September 3, 2012 1:36 PMReply

    If Quentin Tarantino were president, his first executive order would be that all women under the age of 30 would have to wear flip flops. This is a guy who intentionally tried to catch "foot in mouth" disease.

  • assistant_partay | September 14, 2012 11:40 AM


  • Who dat ninja | September 1, 2012 12:55 PMReply

    Tarantino is one of a kind, however I think LaPaglia deserves respect for honoring his commitments and being loyal to his friends and colleagues. Hollywood and integrity do not often go hand in hand. Jonah Hill's presence does not keep the film from being a must see, but for me it does mean must see on blu ray. His presence alone these days keeps me at bay. He was funny in 4o year old virgin and Accepted, I admit that much.

  • jj17 | August 30, 2012 12:38 PMReply

    Jake is a pathetic faggot!

  • Main | September 2, 2012 6:46 PM

    Wow Jonah!...Welcome are thorough i must say..

  • Pierre Samuel Rioux | August 29, 2012 1:59 PMReply

    I like the Django character with the original Franco Nero made by Sergio Corbucci...
    But i anticipate noting good with Tarantino and i think he will scrap this western character.
    Look like Tarantino want to do a sequel of the sequel Django Strikes Again also with Franco Nero but made 10 year later.
    Terence Hill made a Diango .... Viva Django with the director Fernando Baldi Therence Hill his serious in the film.( and he have the Franco Nero look )
    The last good Amercan western was Open Range. And Cowboy and Alien was bring in theater in a flat screen ! a very bad idea for a western and the monster are not smart an off to drive there own air plain ?
    If you like to watch a good western watch KEOMA with Franco Nero.

  • Jake | August 27, 2012 2:25 PMReply

    With all the actors who couldn't do it, this film is shaping up to be garbage. Leo is hit and miss nowadays, Jonah Hill in any role except comedy is a huge waste, Jamie Fox is perhaps the most overrated actor EVER. SLJ phones in all of his performances now, Don Johnson should have retired long ago, and RZA is still rumored in IMDB. This leaves Waltz to carry the film. Suckfest!

  • bigcrazewolf | August 26, 2012 7:37 AMReply

    Love QT and I think this flim will be great!!

  • jake gittes | August 24, 2012 9:49 AMReply

    This is nothing new for Tarantino. all of his films have priduction hoprror stores and all seem to turn out OK. Earlky word on Pulp Fiction was it was a disorganized mess. Look how that turned out.

  • waahaa | August 22, 2012 4:25 PMReply

    Wow, A lot of anti QT people. Hey...he still makes interesting movies. And he's made great movies since Pulp Fiction.

  • Bo Sandine | August 28, 2012 6:03 PM

    Absolutely. Kill Bill Part 2 was a master work ...

  • Pointdexter | August 21, 2012 10:29 PMReply

    All I can say is if QT is behind the camera, there WILL be toes. That dude is obsessed w/ women's feet and toes. So...whatever the storyline, expect a toeasis.

  • Sorry Truth | August 21, 2012 4:46 PMReply

    Tarantino hasn't done shit since Pulp Fiction.
    Oh my gawd I said it.
    Unless you wanna count those mint episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
    Sorry Kill Bill doesn't cut it.
    The guy hasn't made a "film" since Pulp.
    Nerd boys go nuts...

    Footnote: Compare Paul Thomas Anderson's IMDB to Q.T.'s

    Auteur vs. Video Rental Millionaire.

  • MORE SORRY TRUTH | September 15, 2012 6:34 PM

    He's the Lady Gaga of cinema. He has his Little Monsters, and they flock to blogs prostrate at every drop of drivel he yarks up, flamewarring anybody who dares point out the emperor's lack of meat dress.

    Agreed, nothing good here since Pulp Fiction. Very lucky one-shot wonder extending his fifteen, and 14:59 ends the instant Django premieres.

  • borislaw | September 14, 2012 12:20 AM

    I think they are both amazing directors. Tarentino's ability to demand the attention of critics and audiences around the world is itself quite a remarkable accomplishment.
    Fotenote: My own standards for what constitutes great flim are pretty well refined and fairly stringent...for me There Will Be Blood and Death Proof are both among the 10 best movies of the past decade.

  • PV | August 21, 2012 1:18 AMReply

    Kevin Jagernauth's poor writing is distracting. Why does every other sentence begin with a conjunction? How can someone call himself a writer when he thinks it's OK to start an entire new paragraph with "and?" It shows real disdain for the reader not to bother to proofread for simple mistakes, such as "Connolly who he had worked with before." Of course, it it possible that using "who" instead of "whom" is just ignorance, but the presence of mistakes like "perspective on the making the film" shows that the writer couldn't be bothered to give his work a simple once-over and prepare a quality product for the reader. This article is truly a sad display of poor craftsmanship.
    Apologies to any readers of this comment who don't care about such things. I know this has nothing to do with what the article's about, but I just couldn't leave these things unsaid.

  • Jake | September 18, 2012 4:05 PM

    There Will Be Blood was Paul thomas Anderson dude.

  • Muh | August 26, 2012 5:11 PM

    Thanks for the advice, poindexter.

  • Don | August 21, 2012 4:46 AM

    I see what you mean about this article, PV, and I do agree that if somebody's gonna write an article for other people to read, the person should check it for mistakes. I also agree that starting sentences with and or but keeps the sentence from being a whole thought on its own. I will add, however, that this isn't an English class. The truth is most folks who come to this website want information. They care about what an article says, not how it says it.

  • Helgi | August 18, 2012 9:14 PMReply

    Tarantino Unchained? Meaning: roaming about in search of freedom. Quentin´s Gate? Some of you guys loved the trailer, but I still don´t. It´s been 18 years since his last decent movie. But then, he´s still a young man.

  • Helluva | August 20, 2012 12:04 PM

    Yeah, 18 years ago was the last time he worked with Roger Avary. Hmmm....

  • Helgi | August 18, 2012 10:00 PM

    I dont expect Django to bomb at the box office. The movie will play well worldwide no matter how good or bad, simply because Tarantino has a fanbase, which is good, because I like his literary style. Dialogue, action, the order of the day. Still, that trailer bothers me.

  • dave | August 18, 2012 9:52 PM

    "Quentin's Gate?" Nah, mark my words: this won't be a Heaven's Gate-like failure. It could be a mess, get mediocre reviews, whatever -- but it won't bomb that hard. Tarantino's a born entertainer. Michael Cimino? Not so much.

  • hackattack | August 18, 2012 12:46 PMReply

    I had friends that worked post on Anthony LaPaglia's show. The directors wouldn't spend time in the editing room because he was such a nightmare to work w/ on set.

    Always thought he was fantastic in Latanna but I guess he's a Russell Crowe in real life.

  • hackattack | August 18, 2012 12:45 PMReply

    I had friends that worked post on Anthony LaPaglia's show. The directors wouldn't spend time in the editing room because he was such a nightmare to work w/ on set.

    Always thought he was fantastic in Latanna but I guess he's a Russell Crowe in real life.

  • ArcherSlyce | August 18, 2012 6:29 AMReply

    I dare say Death proof and most of Inglorious basterds were disappointment to me... so I don't expect much from this new flick. The ludicrous ensemble cast had me worried from the start, now there's that... even if again it's "blown out of proportion" or whatever PR will say.

  • Dood | August 17, 2012 10:32 PMReply

    Kind of makes it seem like the actors don't really want to work with quentin tarantino, at least not as much as it often seems. I wouldn't be surprised if the movie changes as scripted. I'm sure it will be the traditional tarantino gambit of sex, money, blood and gore, which means people will flock to theaters to see it, but I don't think it will be what he envisioned it to be.

  • Rusty | August 17, 2012 4:07 PMReply

    Jeez the script for this was so badasss. I dont understand him cutting Scott Harmony and it not being a major fucking deal! First off this Scott parents buy Broomhilda for his sorry fat ass then when Scotty decides to go to the Cleopatra Club ( doesnt Paul Scharder has aplay with sane name, differnt subject) Scott gets in over his head while playing a game of cards and ends being shot dead ( in the script this was a dope allusion to Death Rides A Horse, both duels take encorporate a pianoman hitting keys ending with the third key being played and DRAW!, now this is gone cause no mo' Scotty) this was supposed to be our terrifiying introduction to Mr. Calvin Candie, francophile, slave trader, mandingo fight promotor, planation owner, and overall Silver spoon Southern villian, upon "winning" Broomhilda he makes his way into her hotel bedroom, whips her and chases her out in the street. Candie would then utter what would sure to be a catch pharse from the movie "Welcome to Candieland". Another thing that kinda bothers me is that Candie is supposed to be a bit older than depicted by Leo you see Candie and Stephhen were supposed to have grown up together hence Stephens special relationship with Calvin Candie.

  • ken | August 17, 2012 2:52 PMReply

    I wonder if the production problems had anything to with Lawrence Bender not producing this time around. Can't wait to hear more stories come out about the making of this film

  • Mike_M | August 17, 2012 2:47 PMReply

    Funding on the Julian Assange TV movie was all based on the guy from Without a Trace, really?

  • hugh | August 17, 2012 8:44 PM

    The director of the Julian Assange film is Australian so it's likely it's an Australian film and Anthony LaPaglia is quite famous and highly regarded in Australia.

  • jt | August 17, 2012 4:26 PM

    Mike_M, Anthony LaPaglia is a great actor with incredible charisma ( he could be Hugh Jackman's brother). Obviously, he is respected and well-regarded filmmakers want to work with him. And, the film is a Australian production.

    P.S. he was great when he starred on Broadway's "A View From The Bridge."

  • Aj | August 17, 2012 3:51 PM

    I thought the same thing seems far fetched but if that helps him sleep at night

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