Tarantino on How Much Is Riding on Basterds

Last night, not long after moving a packed theater with his eloquence at Inglourious Basterds’ New York premiere, Quentin Tarantino hit the after-party at the Standard Hotel, where Vulture managed to corner him for just long enough to spit out a few questions. Even though he’s not yet read Sunday’s Times feature on the Weinstein Company, he knows how much is riding on his new movie (which John Stamos told us he “liked a lot,” by the way) — Tarantino volunteered himself for a Harvey-administered ass-kicking should Basterds disappoint at the box office.

None of the cast members we spoke to tonight could explain why you misspelled your movie’s title …

Did you intentionally keep it from them, or did they never ask?
Actually, they never asked, to tell you the truth. No, it’s just an artistic stroke. To describe it is to take the piss out of it; I might as well not have even done it.

Did you see the article about Harvey and Bob Weinstein in the New York Times on Sunday?
No, I haven’t read it. Uh-uh.

Well, do you think Harvey Weinstein is going to kick your ass if this movie is not a hit?
Uh, if it’s not a box-office hit, he probably deserves to kick my ass.

Do you think he could take you in a fight?
Uh, well it would probably be three out of four, whoever falls. [Laughs]

How do you think the movie will play in Germany?
Oh, I know it’s going to do fantastic in Germany. People have the wrong idea of Germany. You have to remember that with the possible exception of Jews, the people that have the biggest bringing-down-the–Third Reich fantasies are the last two generations of the Germans.

You’ve said that you get self-conscious when you make movies because they’re all so personal. What does a movie about Nazi-killers reveal about you?
Well it’s not for me to tell you that. The whole idea is to hide in plain sight. That’s why I like working with genre — because I can actually work very, very personal but you don’t know it. I can reveal myself but still keep it secret. But my friends understand.

Tarantino on How Much Is Riding on Basterds