In the filmography of Quentin Tarantino, in all its luscious gore and violence, there are a fair few characters who are deeply unlikeable, though often enjoyably so. Glancing over his career, the likes of the titular Bill from Kill Bill, Hans Landa from Inglourious Basterds and Robert De Niro’s Louis Gara stand out as the worst of the lot. There is one other character so detestable, however, that even Quentin Tarantino hated their existence.
There is no better scenario for such a horrific character to flourish than in the wild west, a period of time on the American frontier when the law was taken into the hands of cowboys and bandits each battling with supremacy and survival. A significant lover of the western genre thanks to filmmakers such as Sergio Leone, Sergio Corbucci and Duccio Tessar, Tarantino often suffused the styles of such directors in with his own films.
Leone particularly was a great inspiration for Tarantino, with the Pulp Fiction director telling The Spectator in 2019: “The movie that made me consider filmmaking, the movie that showed me how a director does what he does, how a director can control a movie through his camera, is Once Upon a Time in the West”.
Continuing, Tarantino added that Sergio Leone’s 1969 classic starring Charles Bronson and Henry Fonda, “Really illustrated how to make an impact as a filmmaker…I found myself completely fascinated, thinking: ‘That’s how you do it.’ It ended up creating an aesthetic in my mind”.
Such led Quentin Tarantino to create two westerns of his own, Django Unchained in 2012 and The Hateful Eight in 2015, with Kill Bill also containing elements from the classic American genre. The first, and best, of these efforts was Django Unchained starring Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson and Leonardo DiCaprio in a revenge film that saw Foxx depict a free slave-hunting down an evil plantation owner.
The villain in question, Calvin Candie is played by Leonardo DiCaprio and was the only character written by Quentin Tarantino that he has “hated”. Speaking to Playboy Magazine upon the release of the film in 2012, the director wrote, “I hated Candie and I normally like my villains no matter how bad they are”. Getting too involved in the psychology of the character, Tarantino added, “I could see his point of view, but I hated it so much. For the first time as a writer, I just fucking hated this guy”.
Played a little too well by Leonardo DiCaprio, Calvin Candie is known as one of the most dislikeable characters in the filmography of Quentin Tarantino thanks to his nasty racist rhetoric and evil grin of pleasure in expressing such abhorrent views. Taking his method acting to a new level of realism, in one scene DiCaprio even accidentally cuts his hand, only to continue the scene and deliver a truly monstrous performance.