Caroline Winter reports from Berlin for The Daily Beast on all the Germans lining up to be blown up and brutally killed in Quentin Taratino's Inglorious Basterds.
What does it take to become a Quentin Tarantino Nazi? First, it helps if you're naturally blond. And as 6,000 Germans who came out for the September casting call found out, a nasty sneer doesn’t hurt, either.
Both Jens and Jan are over 6 feet and have boyish good looks. They’re 100 percent German and look it—that is to say, they blend into the German male landscape. The problem is that both have dark hair and, more important, they’re just not sinister enough to play Germans. After having their portraits taken, both were turned down by an apologetic casting agent. “She told us that we look too friendly,” said Kage, laughing. “They wanted people who the audience would like seeing killed.”
But why, you might ask, would anyone want to play a Nazi extra? The measly five-euros-per-hour stipend isn’t much of an incentive. The Tarantino Nazi wannabes I met were all liberal Berliners who don't usually act in movies and who have no fondness whatsoever for the Third Reich. In fact, some claimed that the main attraction in this case is the fact that they will be gruesomely killed, Tarantino-style, by Jewish-Americans.
“Sure, you’re a Nazi—but you know that, in the end, you're going to get your head hacked off,” said a friend of Kage’s who managed to get cast and thus spoke with me anonymously. “That was definitely part of why I wanted to do this.”
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