Diane Kruger Lays Into Quentin Tarantino Over 'Inglorious Basterds' Role

Although National Treasure star Diane Kruger already worked on a Hollywood blockbuster when Quentin Tarantino was casting Inglorious Basterds, the filmmaker made Kruger jump through hoops to get the part of actress Bridget von Hammersmark. More than a decade after making the movie, Kruger still remembers how difficult it was to get the part. Tarantino didn't even seriously consider her, but that didn't stop Kruger from saying "f— him" and auditioning anyway.

During a stop on the Reign with Josh Smith podcast, Kruger said Tarantino "auditioned everyone" and didn't want her to try out just because she recently made a movie he didn't like. "So he didn't believe in me from the get-go. Literally, the only reason he auditioned me is because there was no one left to audition," Kruger told Smith in the Jan. 11 episode, reports E! News.

Tarantino also refused to see her in the U.S., so she had to fly back to her native Germany, where the film was being shot, on her own dime. "So, I had to jump through all these hoops that definitely put my nose out of joint, but I was like, 'You know what, f— him. I'm just gonna do that and prove him that I could do it,'" Kruger, 45, said. "Thankfully, it all worked out but sometimes it just seems so unfair, and you've got to change the narrative."

Kruger wound up giving an acclaimed performance in Inglorious Basterds, which earned her a Screen Actors' Guild Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. The movie itself is one of Tarantino's biggest box office hits. The movie was nominated for eight Oscars and won Best Supporting Actor of Christoph Waltz.

The subject of the Inglorious Basterds casting process came after Smith asked Kruger about "f— you moments" in her life. Kruger, who is also a trained ballerina, said the rejections she faced as a dancer and actor have only made her stronger. "It's taken me a long time to be above that," she said. "It's not easy every day. It's just that when you're older, I think you have other things going on in your life so it's more like, 'F- you!'"

When Tarantino was accused of mistreating actors in 2018, Kruger was among the stars to defend his directing style, even though one of the negative stories about Tarantino involved him allegedly choking her during the Inglorious Basterds production. "I would like to say that my work experience with Quentin Tarantino was pure joy. He treated me with utter respect and never abused his power or forced me to do anything I wasn't comfortable with," Kruger wrote on Instagram in February 2018. In a Deadline interview, Tarantino said he asked for Kruger's permission before doing anything.

Kruger can now be seen on the big screen in The 355. She recently filmed Swimming With Sharks, a series adaptation of George Huang's 1994 Hollywood satire. The project was originally developed for the now-defunct Quibi, but Kruger told Forbes she believes it will still come out this year. "It's been delated and then we finished it, so I'm assuming it will be coming out this year," she said.