You probably were first made aware of Inglorious Basterds star Diane Kruger when she played “the face that sank a thousand ships,” the legendary Helen of Troy in the Brad Pitt Troy epic. After running around with Nic Cage as he chased legendary artifacts in the National Treasure films, Diane is reunited with Pitt in Quentin Tarantino’s re-imagining of World War II history, Inglorious Basterds. Kruger really impresses as the epitome of a sexy, blonde 1940’s film goddess — a German beauty spying for the good guys.
down with Diane recently in Beverly Hills to chat about the film, how she dealt with Quentin’s legendary foot fetish and his determination to strangle her, reuniting with and getting tortured by
Brad Pitt, what she kept from her glam 1940’s siren wardrobe and the fun she had being one of the few women in the film surrounded by hot guys!
Kruger and boyfriend of three years, Joshua Jackson, have made their relationship work without a formal marriage commitment.
We chatted with Diane Kruger at the recent Television Critics Association meetings, where she’d come to support Josh and his Fringe TV series.
When not in Vancouver with her man, the gorgeous actress is concentrating on career and balancing it by alternately taking on blockbusters and great roles in small, indie films. Her next movie will
be in French.
So, what is it like to be a guy working with this outspoken, international bombshell? We asked Quentin what she brought to the project.
“She brought a genuine German movie star quality. You don’t just find people on the street that look like old time movie stars,” Tarantino said.
“That’s a big deal. Also she has a wonderful duality with the character. She gets to do so much of the movie in German and also so much in English. They are almost two different performances.”
Co-star Michael Fassbender could see why his character would be in love with hers. “This is his dream come true. He’s infatuated with her but Diane is hard-working and open to anything. You could l
throw anything at her. It can be spontaneous magic. It was quite special.”
Joining the boys’ club
Looking very modern-day glam for our interview, Diane arrived wearing a sheer black chiffon mini-dress with gold palettes on the sleeveless top. She accessorized with big gold multiple hoop
earrings and cute gold and black flats.
SheKnows: There was kind of a boys’ club around you in the film. Was it fun to be working with all these guys or frustrating at times?
Diane Kruger: (big grin) What do you think? They turn around and I’m like, ‘Nice uniform.’ Come on. They’re all pretty handsome guys and they were all strutting around in
their uniforms. It was fun. But it was also fun to be one of the guys, to be a character that’s not the pretty thing sitting in the corner but getting down and dirty and playing with the boys.
That’s what’s fun.
SheKnows: How did Quentin shepherd you into this world that is part reality and part fiction/fantasy?
Diane Kruger: It’s pretty much on the page. You read the script and, truly, what you see on screen is what the script was like so that wasn’t hard. Actually, what is hard is you
have to hold back a little bit especially with my character doing that German accent, it went a little too far at times (demonstrates in clipped German accent) ‘Vat are yoo tawking about?’
It became like a stand-up, stupid joke, so you don’t want to do it too big at times.
SheKnows: What surprised you the most when you were able to see the completed film?
Diane Kruger: There’s a big chunk that’s not in. The script was so long originally, so when I first saw it I was like ‘wow, you don’t miss that at all.’ When you read a script, you
can’t imagine (a scene) not being in the actual movie. Then you see the movie and you think, ‘Oh, why was that even in the script?’ And then, I was surprised at quite how funny it was. I knew there
were jokes in the movie but there were moments where I truly laughed out loud and thought, ‘It’s so inappropriate to laugh right now.’
For Quentin, the feet have it
SheKnows: Quentin’s sense of humor always rides that thin line. There are some shots of your feet in this film. People like to talk about Quentin’s interest in shooting women’s
feet. Were you aware of that as it was happening?
Diane Kruger: The true story is that I did not know about his apparent foot thing (laughs). When I first got the job, I was interviewed by some journalist and he said ‘So,
have you read the foot scene yet?’ and he filled me in on this whole thing. I was like ‘Wow, I didn’t know that’. So the day comes and I go ‘Quentin, are you excited? Today’s the foot day. Good day
at work, huh’? And said, ‘Oh, it’s all made up. Don’t even think that that’s true. It’s all made up by media.’ ‘Oh, okay.’ Six close-ups later on my foot and not on my face, and I say, ‘Sure, sure
thing, Quentin.’ So, I don’t know. You ask him.
SheKnows: So did you make sure to have your feet pedicured?
Diane Kruger: I made sure? He made sure. Are you kidding me? And my foot has never looked better, ever.
SheKnows: But it’s all made up by the media. Did you like your wardrobe? It was stunning. Did you keep anything?
Diane Kruger: I kept a lot. What’s not to like, right? Pretty nice. It’s going to be in a closet. I can’t wear it ever again. Actually, that’s not true, those silver shoes that he
takes off, I wore in Cannes for good luck, so I’ve got those — and I’ve got the handmade shoes I wear in the tavern because they were made for me. I got one of the evening dresses and one of the
big posters that we did. That was such a fun day to do the photo shoot.
SheKnows: What did you do with the big posters?
Diane Kruger: Well, it’s hard to put them out in your living room (she gestures to the left). ‘This is me,’ (and to the right) ‘and that’s me.’ They’re cool to have.
SheKnows: How did you keep from cracking up in the scene where Brad Pitt is doing an atrocious Italian accent?
Diane Kruger: I know — it was awful. We all did (cracked up). We had to stop a couple of times because Quentin sits next to camera and he has his headset on and he’s like a little
boy watching and he’s like (she does a Quentin giggle), and we said, ‘Quentin, you have to stop laughing. We have to get this.’ It was very funny.
Up next… Diane on the evolution of Brad Pitt the actor and Quentin Tarantino’s demanding shoot