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|“||As a slave of the LeQuint Dickey Mining Company, henceforth until the day you die, all day, every day, you will be swingin' a sledgehammer, turnin' big rocks into little rocks. Now, when you get there, they gonna take away your name, give you a number and a sledgehammer, and say, "Get to work!" One word of sass, they cut out your tongue. And they good at it, too. You won't bleed out. Oh, they does that real good! They gonna work ya all day, every day 'till your back give out. Then, they're gonna hit you in the head with a hammer, throw your ass down the ni--er hole. And THAT will be the story of you, Django!||„|
|~ Stephen menacing Django|
Stephen is the secondary antagonist of the 2012 Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained.
He was portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson, who also portrayed Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction, Greg Meeker in White Sands, Ordell Robbie in Jackie Brown, Richmond Valentine in Kingsmen, the Octopus in The Spirit, Chaney in Oldboy, Mr. Barron in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Elijah Price in Unbreakable and Glass, Major Marquis Warren in The Hateful Eight, Roland Cox in Jumper, Officer Abel Turner in Lakeview Terrace, and Frank Tenpenny in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Stephen is shown to be the head slave within the plantation and is very close and loyal to his master, Calvin Candie. Despite being a black man himself, he looks down on all the other slaves (if not his fellow black people in general) and is displeased with seeing Django riding a horse. Stephen had previously punished a slave named Broomhilda, who happens to be Django's wife, for trying to run away by locking her in a hotbox. After noticing a connection between Django and Broomhilda, he intimidates and questions her on how she knows him. Stephen later informs his master that Django and Dr. Schultz are trying to take Broomhilda away from Candieland, which quickly brings out Candie's much darker side upon the duo.
After Candie is shot and killed, a grief-stricken Stephen cradles his master's corpse in his arms. After Django massacres most of Candie's henchmen, Stephen forces him to surrender by threatening to shoot Broomhilda. Django is tied up and about to be tortured, but Stephen then decides that a more suitable punishment would be to send him away to work to death with other slaves at the Lequint Dickey Mining Company.
Django escapes his captors and returns to Candieland following Candie's funeral, confronting Stephen and his followers inside the mansion. He tells all of the slaves, excluding Stephen, to get as far away from the plantation as possible, which they agree to. Django then kills the remaining henchmen, including Candie's sister. Stephen calmly throws his cane away and tells Django he counted six shots, before Django pulls out another gun shooting Stephen in both of his knees, making Stephen lose his calm demeanor. As the incapacitated Stephen is left hysterically cursing Django on the floor, Django ignites a bundle of dynamite before walking out of the mansion. He and Broomhilda then watch as the Candieland mansion, with Stephen still inside, is obliterated in a huge explosion.
It is shown that Stephen is more cunning and intelligent than the others at Candyland, including Calvin himself. He sees himself being above the other slaves and it's implied he, being a father figure to Calvin, molded him into the sadist as seen in the film. Despite his cruelty, Stephen is shown to love Candie and seems to have Calvin's best interests at heart. This is best demonstrated when he wails over Calvin's death and cradles his body in his arms.
- It is possible that his physical appearance was based off of Mister Ruckus, a character from the animated television series The Boondocks. He also bears a strong resemblance to the Uncle Ben food brand character.
- Although Calvin Candie was the main villain, Stephen did most of action and was far more hostile and oppressive than Candie. Following his boss' death, Stephen became the final antagonist.
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