Director & Actress Rie Rasmussen Says Quentin Tarantino's 'Django Unchained' Will "Revolutionize" Hollywood

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by Jeff Otto
November 12, 2011 12:52 PM
11 Comments
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Earlier this week, The Playlist spoke with Rie Rasmussen, the model-turned-actress-turned writer/director/editor/producer. Best known to American audiences for her steamy makeout scene with Rebecca Romjin-Stamos in Brian De Palma’s “Femme Fatale,” Rasmussen has in recent years been carving out a new career behind the lens. Her short film, “Thinning the Herd,” traveled the festival circuit (and was up for a Palme d'Or at Cannes), and that was where the multitalented beauty first caught the eye of Quentin Tarantino.

Now Rasmussen’s feature debut, “The Human Zoo,” which she wrote, directed, edited, produced and also stars in, has been championed by Tarantino, who has just brought the film stateside for a run. “Rie Rasmussen makes an electrifying directorial debut,” Tarantino says of the film. “It’s as shocking and violent as it is moving and charming.” After connecting over her filmmaking career, it seems Tarantino and Rasmussen have become good chums. She visited the set of “Inglourious Basterds” and has recently been chatting it up with Tarantino about his hotly anticipated “Django Unchained.”

“I’ve been around him since day one when the script was being written and I’ve followed it through its development this last year and a half,” Rasmussen tells The Playlist. “I knew the man was a genius, but...Jamie Foxx is going to motherfucking knock this one out of the park. He’s gonna be a young Jim Brown. This movie is going to be a revolution. Honestly, when I look at it and what Quentin loves, he gave blaxploitation films a voice, he gave Pam Grier that voice. She was it and he’s just this white guy. He was giving the black revenge story a bloody voice and this is what Quentin is doing today with 'Django Unchained.' ”

Rasmussen revealed that Tarantino has been working on some rewrites of the script, which he has been bouncing off the actress/director. “Just last night, he read me something. He’s like, ‘Oh, I just wrote this new dialogue, will you check this out?’ I can’t believe that Leonardo DiCaprio is going to say these words. I can’t believe it. People are going to stand up in their seats when this Tarantino rant is going on screen. I don’t know what. I’m so excited about it I’m about to lose my cool.”

Sadly, there is no role for Rasmussen in 'Django,' but that hasn’t stopped her from hoping. “Well, I am white in case you didn’t notice,” Rasmussen says with a laugh. “I am blue-eyed and Scandinavian, so there isn’t a part that even slightly, remotely resembles my physique. But there is a part being written that I would say is very much based on me, but she’s a sister. So, I don’t think anybody would appreciate me trying to do a black face like Robert Downey Jr.

She hopes 'Django' will resonate with audiences in the same way “Jackie Brown” did for her. “I’m thinking this is going to revolutionize. If this doesn’t change the face of movies, then Hollywood is really, truly motherfucking racist. Because they didn’t pick up on it with 'Jackie Brown,' which is one my favorite movies of all time. I think it’s the most, like, adult movie we’re going to see out of Quentin Tarantino. It didn’t do it with 'Jackie Brown' because people just weren’t smart enough. That’s my deduction of it. But this is gonna change it, I just know it.”

Rasmussen’s “The Human Zoo” is now making its U.S. debut at the New Beverly Cinema, playing through November 17th. We’ll have more from the actress next week discussing her directorial debut.

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11 Comments

  • Donella | November 25, 2011 3:43 PMReply

    If Tarantino has been consulting with Rie Rasmussen on this film, then all idiocy has been explained.

  • soapey | November 14, 2011 12:28 AMReply

    "up for a Palme d'Or"? Ummm....isn't any film that plays in competition at a festival up for a prize? Anyway, here's a link to the short.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paVvIPzC7HA

  • Joe | November 15, 2011 9:19 AM

    Films at Cannes are separated into several competing groups while some films that show at the festival do not qualify for awards at all.

  • Piotr | November 13, 2011 6:46 PMReply

    @JEFF
    Nobody says anything about Tarantino's penchant for blood and guts? What world are you living in? Whenever one of his movies comes out, that's ALL people talk about.

    And people don't so much talk about Mel Gibson's penchant for on-screen violence so much as his antisemitism and misogyny.

  • Donella | April 15, 2012 6:10 PM

    Jackie Brown was one of Tarantino's better movies (and better title characters) because it is an adapted screenplay based on an original story written by Elmore Leonard. Tarantino could not have developed either the story or the characters without assistance. What really shined a light on his weaknesses as a writer was the Grindhouse double feature. Rodriguez wrote the stronger story with Planet Terror and as a result, managed to attract superior talent. Death Proof consisted of snarky dialogue and cursing, plus an over-long car chase. Planet Terror can stand on its own as an extended version. Death Proof, not so much. All the rest is ego, hype, and hyperbole.

  • Jeff | November 13, 2011 8:39 PM

    Piotr, my observation has been that, whereas critics and others have commented on the graphic scenes of violence in such Gibson films as Braveheart and The Passion of the Christ (both historical pieces), they have said little to nothing concerning the depraved and gratuitous violence shown in many Tarantino films. That is why I made the comparison. Now the real point here is that I was criticizing actress Rie Rasmussen's assertion that this current Tarantino movie would "revolutionize" Hollywood. It appears that she suffers from some arrogance and elitism, however, in light of her comments "motherf---ing racist" and "people just weren't smart enough" to appreciate Jackie Brown, so her assertion probably stems from this. Poor misunderstood "genius" Tarantino. Please. For what it was, though, Jackie Brown was one of his better movies.

  • Jeff | November 13, 2011 5:49 PMReply

    "Revolutionize" Hollywood? Tarantino is one of the most overrated directors there is. People have criticized Mel Gibson for an alleged inclination toward blood and guts, but no one has ever said anything about Tarantino's depraved penchant for it. Double standard? Anyway, back to the point. Tarantino could no more "revolutionize" Hollywood than he could write and direct a film without an assault, death, mutilation, or rape in it.

  • henry | November 12, 2011 3:40 PMReply

    short films are nominated for the Palme D'or?

  • Deborah | November 13, 2011 12:34 AM

    Yes, there is a Palme d'Or for short films.

  • HombreGato | November 12, 2011 2:31 PMReply

    Really happy to hear that Human Zoo is hitting stateside. I just watched Luc Besson's Angel-A and I was really impressed by her.

  • bobmorton | November 12, 2011 1:14 PMReply

    jackie brown is definitely his most mature movie. blame blood-thirsty audiences for its failure. this is probably why tarantino has been playing it safe with revenge fantasies ever since.

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