Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: New Hilarious Red-Band Trailer For 'The Interview' Starring Seth Rogen And James Franco Watch: New Hilarious Red-Band Trailer For 'The Interview' Starring Seth Rogen And James Franco Fantastic Fest Review: Hitman Thriller 'John Wick' Starring Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe & Adrianne Palicki Fantastic Fest Review: Hitman Thriller 'John Wick' Starring Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe & Adrianne Palicki Watch: First Trailer For Tim Burton's 'Big  Eyes' Starring Amy Adams And Christoph Waltz Watch: First Trailer For Tim Burton's 'Big Eyes' Starring Amy Adams And Christoph Waltz 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date First Look: Cobie Smulders & Guy Pearce In Andrew Bujalski's 'Results' First Look: Cobie Smulders & Guy Pearce In Andrew Bujalski's 'Results' 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders Watch: Oscar Isaac And Jessica Chastain Are At War In First Trailer For 'A Most Violent Year' Watch: Oscar Isaac And Jessica Chastain Are At War In First Trailer For 'A Most Violent Year' Review: 'The Maze Runner' Starring Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Patricia Clarkson, Will Poulter And More Review: 'The Maze Runner' Starring Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Patricia Clarkson, Will Poulter And More Exclusive: Matthew McConaughey Won’t Be Back For ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ Director Says Sequel Will Be “Very Different” Exclusive: Matthew McConaughey Won’t Be Back For ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ Director Says Sequel Will Be “Very Different” David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Sacha Baron Cohen Chose 'Les Miserables' Over 'Django Unchained,' Explains What His Small Role Would Have Been

The Playlist By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 3, 2013 at 3:55PM

Most actors would kill to have the kind of "Sophie's Choice" decision Sacha Baron Cohen was faced with about a year ago. Way back in the fall of 2011, it was reported that the comic actor had boarded Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained." But six months later, the actor had dropped out (one of a handful who came and went -- like Kevin Costner, Joseph-Gordon Levitt and Anthony LaPaglia -- as the film's production grew longer and longer). So, what gives? Well, it looks like a meatier role coupled with a tight deadline forced him out.
8
Les Miserables Sacha Baron Cohen Helena Bonham Carter

Most actors would kill to have the kind of "Sophie's Choice" decision Sacha Baron Cohen was faced with about a year ago. Way back in the fall of 2011, it was reported that the comic actor had boarded Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained." But six months later, the actor had dropped out (one of a handful who came and went -- like Kevin Costner, Joseph-Gordon Levitt and Anthony LaPaglia -- as the film's production grew longer and longer). So, what gives? Well, it looks like a meatier role coupled with a tight deadline forced him out.

"I was editing 'The Dictator' and we were very close to release and Paramount wouldn’t push the date. And then I knew I’d have to jump straight from there into 'Les Mis[erables]' and it basically became a choice of either pulling out of 'Les Mis' or pulling out of 'Django,' " the actor told Deadline. "I’m sure 'Django' is an incredible movie, but it was essentially one scene." (Cohen also said last spring that the press tour for "The Dictator" was also problematic for scheduling).

So who was he going to play? "It was a character by the name of Scotty, whom Leonardo DiCaprio’s character plays a poker game with. The stakes become Scotty’s slave girl, Broomhilda," he said. But there's a bit more to it than that. It was a rather long, tangential flashback explaining how Broomhilda was sold to DiCaprio's Calvin Candie in the first place. The character was Scotty Harmony, who in early drafts was an overweight 24-year-old who comes into possession of Broomhilda thanks to his father, who buys her for him, to help boost his confidence. Harmony's also deeply enarmored by her, and this whole sequence tries to display another ugly secret of the racism of the south: the white men had no problems having black girlfriends known as Ponys in their underground clubs. Whether or not this is another historical fabrication of Tarantino's -- we haven't researched it enough -- it sure sounds like it. And as you know by now, the character and the scene didn't wind up making the final film anyway.

So did Cohen make the right choice? He's certainly bringing some much needed life and levity to "Les Miserables" in theaters now, and the audience we saw the movie with loved his take on "Master Of The House." But either way, 'Django' seems to be doing just fine without him.

This article is related to: Sacha Baron Cohen, Les Miserables, Django Unchained


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates