The 45-year-old actress, who played Bridget von Hammersmark in the filmmaker's 2009 movie, Inglourious Basterds, recalled her casting experience during the Jan. 11 episode of the Reign With Josh Smith podcast.
Though Kruger's role was well-received and ultimately earned her a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, she claimed that Tarantino, 58, initially didn't want her to play the part.
"He auditioned everyone. He didn't want to audition me because he saw a movie that I was in that he didn't like," she explained. "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."
According to Kruger, the filmmaker "wouldn't see me in the U.S." and she had to pay for her own plane ticket to Germany to secure an audition.
"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--k him. I'm just gonna do that and prove him that I could do it.'"
She added, "Thankfully, it all worked out but sometimes it just seems so unfair, and you've got to change the narrative."
The revelation came about when The 355 star and host Josh Smith were discussing "f--k you moments" they had experienced in their lives. For Kruger, who trained as a ballerina before pursuing a career in acting, the rejection she faced as both a dancer and an actress has only made into a stronger person.
"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--k you!'"
Kruger previously spoke about her work experience with Tarantino in 2018, when he was accused of mistreating actors. In response to criticism that the Oscar winner once insisted on choking Kruger himself while filming a scene for Inglorious Basterds, the actress took to social media at the time to defend him.
"I would like to say that my work experience with Quentin Tarantino was pure joy," she wrote on her Instagram. "He treated me with utter respect and never abused his power or forced me to do anything I wasn't comfortable with."
For his part, Tarantino previously told Deadline that he had explained his method to Kruger in detail and that she gave him permission to choke her for the scene.
"When I did Inglourious Basterds, and I went to Diane and I said, 'Look, I've got to strangle you. 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," he recalled in a 2018 interview. "What I would like to do — with your permission — is just…commit to choking you, with my hands, in a close-up. 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?"
Tarantino added, "We did our two times, and...Diane said, Okay, if you need to do it once more, you can."
E! News reached out to Tarantino's rep for comment but did not hear back.