Django Unchained Stars Talk Use Of The N Word In Movie

Kerry Washington and Jamie Foxx chat with Access Hollywood on December 17, 2012 -- Access Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino's latest movie, "Django Unchained," about a slave-turned-bounty hunter, doesn't shy away from violence and language, including 110 uses of the N word - something the cast had to come to grips with while filming.

"These characters use the N word because that's what people said back then, and again if you don't understand how ugly the time is, you don't understand how bada** [Django] is to get through this time," Kerry Washington told Access Hollywood's Michelle Beadle, referencing Jamie Foxx's Django character.

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"There were days when hearing that N word over and over again would start to get a little uncomfortable and Jaime and I had these imaginary shields... we'd roll up our N word shield," she explained.

Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays plantation owner Calvin Candie, uses the word most often, but had trouble going there, according to his co-stars.

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"I think that what Quentin wanted to do was really let you know how it really was [during this time] and you're not supposed to feel good about it," Jamie said.

Jamie said co-star Samuel L. Jackson helped motivate Leo to immerse himself in the character and his language.

"When Leo goes, 'Buddy, I'm having a tough time with these words' and then... Samuel Jackson [told him] 'It's just another Tuesday for us, get over that.' And I told Leo, if you don't go there then we don't have a story. So the next day he walked [and] he didn't even speak to me," the actor recalled.

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Adding, "We knew we had to go to a bad place and when I talked to black people about the film and they say they were bothered by the N word, I said, 'It's supposed to, it's supposed to bother you. Those horrific things that happened to us, is supposed to bother you.'"

Despite the film's intensity, Kerry stressed the film isn't just a painful look at a horrific time in our history.

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"This film is the full ride... you will absolutely laugh, you will cry, you will be afraid, you will fall in love. You get the whole sha-bang," she told Access.

"Django Unchained" opens in theaters on December 25.

-- Jesse Spero

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