Will Smith Turned Down "Django Unchained" Because He Needed to Be the Lead

"Django wasn't the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead."

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Complex Original

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It's hard to imagine anyone other than Jamie Foxx portraying the badass Django in Django Unchained, but originally the role was supposed to go to the Fresh Prince himself: Will Smith. Apparently, Quentin Tarantino actually wrote the role of Django with Smith in mind, but "time commitments" prevented him from being able to join the cast - so Foxx did instead. 

According to Smith in a new interview with EW, though, time commitments weren't the only reason he turned the role down. "Django wasn’t the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead. The other character was the lead!" He continued to say that he sat down with Tarantino to talk about giving Django a more central role in the story - "I was like, ‘No, Quentin, please, I need to kill the bad guy!" - but his Men in Black III time commitments and Tarantino's schedule didn't allow for much discussion. "I thought it was brilliant," Smith added. "Just not for me."

Funnily enough, Foxx's co-star Christoph Waltz was actually billed as a supporting actor during this past awards season, while Foxx was considered the lead actor in the film. 

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[via EW]

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