Harvey Keitel goes on the Oscars warpath for Basterds

Posted on 14 February 2010
By Pierce King
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The big guns behind Quentin Tarantino’s WWII masterpiece Inglourious Basterds are campaigning hard for it to win an Oscar on March 7.

At a lunch hosted by Harvey Keitel in NYC, the movie legend (a major supporter of Basterds, which is up for Best Picture) revealed just how hard he and director Tarantino have worked for the movie.

He said: “You have to have the courage and the convictions.

“When we started to make the movie, people said to me, ‘Oh my God, the idea of these ­Jewish guys going out, killing and scalping the Nazis! You’re going to have trouble with this and this and this.”

But Keitel said he was always one move ahead of the doubters and contacted the Anti-Defamation League to see whether they had any issues with it.

Harvey added: “I called the head of the Anti-Defamation League, and I showed them the script.

“Then I showed them the movie, and they said, ‘We love it!”

But Basterd’s writer-director was more apathetic when asked to defend his work, even though he spent a mind boggling 10 years penning the script and putting it back in his draw to mature.

“I don’t really think about it too much,” he insisted. “I do the stories that I do, and some people don’t like them. But that just makes me think that I’m doing my own thing — I would never defend my work. Ever.”

The famed director said he’s learned that the hard way: Kill Bill – now a cult classic, got him a lot of heat for its violence when it slashed into cinemas in 2003.

Quentin added: “Cut to five years later, and I don’t think I’ve met anyone who hasn’t seen it.”

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