Posted on Friday, November 11th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
Here’s the latest update on the ever-growing cast for Quentin Tarantino‘s anti-slavery ‘southern’ Django Unchained. You might recall that Tarantino once directed an episode of CSI, and that link could help explain why Rex Linn, known for playing Frank Tripp on CSI: Miami, is the proud owner of a role in Django Unchained. He’ll be Tennessee Harry, according to Deadline.
More startling is the fact that another actor now in talks for the movie is Sacha Baron Cohen, who is escaping the shadows of his Borat and Bruno characters thanks in part to Martin Scorsese’s Hugo. He’s in talks for one of the best characters in the film, too.
Variety says that Sacha Baron Cohen would play Scotty if his deal goes through. That’s a small but crucial role in the movie, and the last one that I was really curious to see cast. (When Joseph Gordon-Levitt was added, I wondered before his role was announced if he might be Scotty.)
Spoilers follow with respect to the role and one section of the movie:
So Django Unchained follows a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) and freed slave Django (Jamie Foxx) as they track down bounties on a few different slavers. They end up on the trail of Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), the man who owns Django’s wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington).
There is one segment early in the movie that explains how Broomhilda goes from being sold at auction to the Candie household. She is bought by a wealthy man as a companion for his milksop son, Scotty. (Described as fat in the script; I don’t expect to see Cohen in a fat suit, however.) With Broomhilda in tow, Scotty stops at an establishment that is designed as a place where white men can engage in open dates and sexual relationships with young female slaves. There Scotty and Broomhilda meet Calvin Candie.
It’s a really weird, uncomfortable scenario that is one of the more effective parts of the movie with respect to railing against slavery and racism. Scotty is one of the few almost ‘good’ characters in the movie. Yeah, he’s trying to hook up with the slave he owns, but he’s also timid and genuine and tries to approach her like a person. It’s a complex situation and Cohen might be perfect for accentuating the unpleasant undercurrents while still getting the character right.