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|“||They're playing your ass for a fool.||„|
|~ Stephen informing Candie of Django and Dr. Schultz's true intentions|
Stephen is the secondary antagonist in the 2012 Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained.
He is portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson.
Stephen is Calvin Candie's most loyal and oldest slave and has a deep love for him, seeing him as a friend and as a student. Stephen uses a cane to walk, though at the end of the film he throws it away and reveals that it was merely an act. He sees other slaves (if not his fellow black people in general) as being lower then him, any sign of a slave having rights angers him, as is shown when he sees Django riding a horse. Stephen is shown as being even more evil than Candie himself.
Stephen is shown to be the head slave within the plantation and is very close and loyal to his master. Despite being a black man himself, he looks down on all the other slaves 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 loose 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 Stephen is more cunning and intelligent than the others at Candyland, including Calvin himself. He see's 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.
- Stephen can actually be considered the true antagonist of the film, since he can be seen writing checks on Candie's behalf and showing that he is in control of Candieland.