Diane Kruger: Quentin Tarantino ‘Never Abused His Power’ During the Making of ‘Inglourious Basterds’

Kruger starred as German film actress Bridget von Hammersmark in Tarantino's WWII-set "Inglourious Basterds."
Diane Kruger, "Inglourious Basterds"
Diane Kruger, "Inglourious Basterds"

Diane Kruger has released an official statement on Instagram in which she makes it clear Quentin Tarantino was not abusive on the set of his World War II revenge drama “Inlgourious Basterds.” A scene where Tarantino choked Kruger has been back in the conversation following Uma Thurman’s New York Times profile, which revealed Tarantino choked and spit on her while filming takes during “Kill Bill.” The director did something similar to Kruger, but the actress wants everyone to know it was consensual.

“For the record, I would like to say that my work experience with Quentin Tarantino was pure joy,” Kruger writes. “He treated me with utter respect and never abused his power or forced me to do anything I wasn’t comfortable with.”

The scene in question takes place between Christoph Waltz’s Nazi officer Hans Landa and Kruger’s German actress Bridget von Hammersmark. Landa learns that Hammersmark has been working as an undercover agent against the Nazis and strangles her to death.

In order to film the scene, Tarantino requested he be the one to physically strangle Kruger. The director told Deadline he wanted to be responsible for executing the moment so it could be filmed quickly and Kruger wouldn’t have to go through multiple takes.

“When I did ‘Inglourious Basterds,’ I went to Diane [Kruger], and I said, look, I’ve got to strangle you,” the director told Deadline. “If it’s just a guy with his hands on your neck, not putting any kind of pressure and you’re just doing this wiggling death rattle, it looks like a normal movie strangulation. It looks movie-ish. But you’re not going to get the blood vessels bulging, or the eyes filling it with tears, and you’re not going to get the sense of panic that happens when your air is cut off.”

“What I would like to do, with your permission, is just…commit to choking you, with my hands, in a closeup,” Tarantino continued. “We do it for 30 seconds or so, and then I stop. If we need to do it a second time, we will. After that, that’s it. Are you down to committing to it so we can get a really good look. It’ll be twice, and only for this amount of time, and the stunt guy was monitoring the whole thing.”

Tarantino said they filmed the choking scene twice and that Kruger allowed a third take because “she trusted” him so much. Kruger’s personal statement on Instagram verifies the story. You can read the statement in its entirety below.

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