The bushwhacker's boy

Walton Goggins on The Hateful Eight and Abraham Lincoln's letter.

by Anne-Katrin Titze

An enthusiastic Quentin Tarantino with Six of The Hateful Eight: Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir and Bruce Dern
An enthusiastic Quentin Tarantino with Six of The Hateful Eight: Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir and Bruce Dern Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

At the brunch, introduced by Harvey Weinstein and Uma Thurman and following the discussion with Samuel L Jackson, Walton Goggins and Jennifer Jason Leigh of Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight, I spoke with the man who may or may not be the new sheriff of Red Rock about Sergio Leone's The Good, The Bad And The Ugly with Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach and the Golden Globe winning composer Ennio Morricone. Goggins, who was in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln with Bill Raymond and Daniel Day-Lewis, had a special treat for us. Weinstein had Django Unchained star Leonardo DiCaprio on his mind when he noted that Alejandro González Iñárritu's Golden Globe winner The Revenant was experiencing the same global warming in Vancouver, that his production was going through in Colorado during the filming.

Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins): "What my daddy fought for was dignity in defeat and against the unconditional surrender."
Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins): "What my daddy fought for was dignity in defeat and against the unconditional surrender."

The second hitchhiker after Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) to join The Hateful Eight stagecoach with Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and John Ruth (Kurt Russell) on board, is Chis Mannix (Goggins), who insists that he is going there to take his role as the new sheriff. When the blizzard makes them hole up in Minnie's Haberdashery and Mannix starts to display some very un-sheriff-like behavior, doubts emerge about who this man sporting the slimiest of feeble grins actually might be.

In a film where nobody is who they seem, this eternal son could be the most hateful of them all. Goggins at the brunch gave me a book recommendation about his character's father and a musical link between his own all-time favourite western and this one.

Harvey Weinstein: I think for the actors and the people involved in this movie, this truly was a labor of love. We sat there for 32 days while it didn't snow in Telluride. Any of the Republican candidates who do not believe in climate change, I'd be more than happy to share the day-to-day reports. While we sat there waiting for the bloody snow in a place that was supposed to be consistent. The only consolation we had were the guys in Vancouver on The Revenant were experiencing the same exact thing.

John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) on the stagecoach to Minnie's Haberdashery
John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) on the stagecoach to Minnie's Haberdashery

Anne-Katrin Titze: Do you have a favorite western?

Walton Goggins: I mean, there are so many. If you were to put me in a corner - The Good, The Bad And The Ugly.

AKT: Why?

WG: I think it's just sublime filmmaking, isn't it? I'm so interested in these three characters [Blondie, Angel Eyes, Tuco] and what they do. And the score that Mr. Morricone composed for that. It's just a real psychological exploration.

AKT: You were saying earlier at the brunch that the characters were so completely Quentin. Were there any other sources that helped you to create the man you play in The Hateful Eight?

WG: I don't really look at it that way. Quentin said, "There's a book you need to read that the character of your father is based on. His name his William Clarke Quantrill and he was a waiter, a bushwhacker during the Civil War." And so I read that book and that really gave me everything that I needed to know.

General Sandy Smithers, aka The Confederate (Bruce Dern) in Minnie's Haberdashery
General Sandy Smithers, aka The Confederate (Bruce Dern) in Minnie's Haberdashery

AKT: What is the name of the book?

WG: The name of the person is William Clarke Quantrill. So I think the name of the book that I read - there are a number of books - was Ride With The Devil, or something like that.

Walton Goggins read to us the following letter carried by Major Marquis Warren in The Hateful Eight:

Dear Marquis,

I hope this letter finds you in good health and stead. I'm doing fine, although I wish there were more hours in a day. There's just so much to do. Times a-changing slowly, but surely and it's men like you that will make a difference. Your military success is a credit, not only to you, but your race as well. I'm very proud every time I hear news from you. We still have a long way to go, but hand in hand, I know we'll get there. I just want to let you know, you're in my thoughts. Hopefully, our paths will cross in the future. Until then, I remain your friend.

Ole' Mary Todd is calling so I guess it must be time for bed.

Respectfully, Abraham Lincoln

Read what Jennifer Jason Leigh had to say about Daisy Domergue, Samuel L Jackson on being a bad guy, Tim Roth on Oswaldo Mobray and God Of Hell and Quentin Tarantino on pompoms.

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