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Let's talk about Inglourious Basterds. What did you do singles online kennenlernen kostenlos to get into character and how much of Eli Roth is there in Donny Donowitz?
My grandparents got out of Europe… Most of their relatives were murdered in the Holocaust, so I grew up with this knowledge, and my parents saying, "Thank your lucky stars you were born in Boston, cause if you were born in Europe, you would've been killed in the concentration camps."
So I grew up with this psychotic hatred of the Nazis and just these fantasies of killing them… It was very cathartic, it was extremely personal to do the role… So there is probably a lot more of me in Donny Donowitz and Donny Donowitz in me than I would care to admit.
You've worked with Quentin Tarantino a few times now. As someone who has watched his career closely, how do you think he has changed the film industry and how might Inglourious Basterds change it further?
So what he's done now, I think Quentin truly has taken the best parts of all of his movies. He's taken the tension of Reservoir Dogs, the style and humor of Pulp Fiction, the characters of Jackie Brown, the action of Kill Bill, the adrenaline of Death Proof, and he's combined it into one film that I think is his masterpiece… Quentin is a true original and there is nobody writing better characters and dialogue than Quentin… He's such a ballsy filmmaker, he just lays it down and says, "This is how it is," and makes all these 70 other years of war movies where you have all the Germans speaking Shakespearean English just look stupid. The fact that he actually had the balls to have the Germans speak German and the French speak French in a movie set in World War II means that from this point forward, no one's going to buy that [stuff anymore]. You can't have people speaking English that are pretending to be German. Audiences just aren't going to accept it after Inglourious Basterds.
Let's shift from Quentin Tarantino over to Brad Pitt now. Brad Pitt is one of the most recognizable people on the planet, but we don't get to see the side of Brad Pitt that's on the set making movies. Why don't you tell us what it's like to work with Brad Pitt, and could you see yourself directing him in one of your movies?
He just wants to have like interesting interactions and conversations. When we all go out for crew drinks, it doesn't matter if you're a production assistant or one of the actors or one of the stars, he's friendly to everybody and is genuinely engaging, and has real human interactions with them. [He's] brilliant at absorbing people and putting them into his characters. There's some movie stars that no matter what movie they're in, you're still watching that star. But Brad is a chameleon. He's a superb actor with leading man looks, but with a real, regular down-to-earth everyman quality, and that's what people connect to. You'd never know his life is the circus that it is, or that I'd imagine it to be. You'd never know that from being on set with him. You just think, "This guy's a really cool guy."
So let's talk about your genre of choice as a filmmaker, from what we've seen, which is horror. How did you end up in horror?
ER: Well, I love horror movies, and I certainly plan on expanding beyond horror, but horror movies were my passion growing up, and my favorite thing was being scared and watching scary, gory movies with my friends. And then I felt like, by the late '90s, they evaporated -- the R-rated horror movie was gone. It was like a dead art form. And I thought, you could make a really smart movie. You don't need a big budget, you don't need major stars. You need good actors and good scripts and a director who understands how to shoot it, and edit it… I feel really honored and proud that the fans responded, and you know, I've had a great time making the films that I have.
Now you are established as an actor, too. Do you see yourself balancing acting and directing?
ER: I look at careers like and think that's a great career to have where you're doing movies that you write and direct, and also act in films, although he's primarily an actor. I see myself directing my movies, but every now and then, taking a break, shifting gears and throwing myself into a role. There's something very scary about exposing yourself on camera, knowing that you're going to be put on thousands of screens around the world for everyone to judge, but there's also something very thrilling and exciting about it.
Men's Fitness named you as the Most Fit Director a few years ago…
So that was why I had to, with Donowitz, I had to put on 40 pounds of muscle for the part. I was like, "OK, this is appropriate for the part, but I don't want anyone taking my Most Fit Director title."
Why is it important to look good?
Nothing gets you in shape quite like the on-camera diet. If you know you're going to be photographed, you get your ass to the gym, but I just feel so much better and clear-headed, you know, waking up every day and exercising, and the truth is, I look at the people that I went to high school with, and they're starting to look like old men, and people don't believe that I'm 37 years old. I don't really drink. I've never smoked. I live a pretty healthy lifestyle, but I do make sure I exercise every day, sometimes twice a day, because I really like being in shape. I'm athletic and youthful and I want to stay that way… I want to keep making movies my whole life. I don't want to just make movies until I'm so unhealthy and stressed out that I just drop dead.
There's tons of websites that have written about you. What's something that people don't know about you that they might be surprised to know?
Some people tend to identify me as those guys. They don't identify me as the girls in Hostel 2 or any of the other characters. They either identify you as the killer or as the frat guy. They don't think you're commenting on that. So when people would say, "Oh Eli was just a frat boy this or that," it's to me, it was always hysterical.
Todd Phillips was at NYU with me. So he's like an artsy kid from Brooklyn who's into documentary films, and he's making The Hangover and Old School, and we were always kind of fascinated by this culture. Whereas he made comedies like Animal House, and I made horror movies, using the same types of guys. So I think the big misconception is that I am one of those guys, when the truth is I couldn't -- I just found a lot of those guys so absurd, I thought they were going to make incredible characters in a horror movie, cause they always do the stupidest thing.
On AskMen.com, we talk a lot about influential men, celebrities who influence us. Who were the people who really influenced you in earlier years -- when you were making short films?
ER: Certainly was a big influence, because Sam Raimi made Evil Dead when he was 21, and he went out in the woods with his friends and shot this movie for $350K that I thought was the scariest movie I'd ever seen as a kid. And so that… that really showed me that you don't need major stars, you don't need to be from Hollywood, that if you have creativity and drive and ideas, you can go out there and do it. It made me feel like you didn't have to be in Hollywood or born into some Hollywood family to be a movie director. It made it so much more attainable to me, even as a 12- or 13-year-old, to think I can be a director just like the way Sam Raimi did it. Sam Raimi was a huge, huge, huge influence on me, and I knew that he started with Super 8 films, which is what I was shooting with.
Do you want to say anything about upcoming projects?
ER: I'm working on an action/sci-fi movie called Endangered Species that I'm really excited about. I'm going to dive into it in September. I wanted to do something big and fun with lots of mass destruction like Jurassic Park or Transformers.