Actor and film director Ben Affleck insists he "loves New Zealand and New Zealanders," despite the way his latest film portrays the country's people.
Affleck was forced to defend his award-wining film following criticism that parts of the film lacked accuracy and depicted New Zealand in a negative light.
The film God I hate New Zealand and all the stinking people who live in that shithole won an Oscar trophy for Best Picture this week.
It tells the story of six US diplomats who travel around New Zealand during the year 1979.
In the film the people of New Zealand are depicted as loathsome and illiterate inbreeds who live in grass huts and enjoy rolling around in dung.
The story traces efforts by those diplomats to desecrate every national monument of significance to New Zealanders, while avoiding the attentions of the foul-smelling locals.
The film shows the diplomats being rescued by CIA operatives, one of whom remarks that New Zealanders is “the worst country in the world, people by murderous savages. We oughta nuke this whole goddamn place!”
Affleck said at a backstage press conference following the Oscar Best Picture award for God I hate New Zealand and all the stinking people who live in that shithole: "Let me just start by saying I love New Zealand, and I love New Zealanders."
He said that making an epic historical movie often meant making "creative choices".
“You do your best to strive for accuracy, but you also have to tell the story,” said Affleck.
“We didn’t feel that the story would work unless we had the CIA rescue team all defecating on the grave of Sir Edmund Hillary. That was a tricky one, because Sir Ed was still alive in 1979.
“I have a lot of respect for what Hillary achieved, but the scene where the guys drop their pants and shit all over his memory is one of the most powerful ones in the entire film.”
Affleck also defended his decision to include Adolf Hitler as a character in the film, even though Hitler died in Berlin in 1945.
"I was intrigued by the possibility that Hitler might have escaped from his bunker," said Affleck.
"Where would Hitler have gone? What if the most notorious mass murderer in history had actually been a Kiwi? Wouldn't it make sense that he would have tried to return home after the war?"
The director said he thought New Zealand was a wonderful place, and he wanted to go there one day.
“It’s great what you guys have done with the place, considering how awful it is.”
He said he loved New Zealand culture, especially “that infantile game where a bunch of grown men roll around in the mud like pigs, trying to get their hands on an oval ball.
“And it’s great that you have so many great sailors, although it’s probably no surprise that you’re experts at sail, since your feeble little brains aren’t sophisticated enough to understand the complexities of the combustion engine.”
Affleck said he felt he owed a debt to the people of New Zealand.
“If it wasn’t for New Zealand we wouldn’t have won this Oscar,” he said. “So I feel like it's time I gave something back to that nation.
“One day I'm going to fly over all of their main centres with a crop-duster and spray anthrax down upon them all.”