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Will Smith Turned Down ‘Django Unchained’ Because It Wouldn’t Have Had Enough Will Smith

Will SMith
Larry Busacca, Getty Images

When director Quentin Tarantino began casting his Oscar-nominated Western ‘Django Unchained,’ he set his eyes on Will Smith to take center stage. But the Fresh Prince turned down the role, and now we know why.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Big Willy says he didn’t think the role was, well, quite big enough, saying, “Django wasn’t the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead. The other character was the lead!”

He also says he tried to get Quentin to alter the script so he’d have a larger part. “I was like, ‘No, Quentin, please, I need to kill the bad guy!’”

The role eventually went to Jamie Foxx, and the rest is history.

It’s unclear why Smith felt that playing a character named Django in a film titled ‘Django Unchained’ wouldn’t give him enough spotlight. Even though Christoph Waltz’s character had a decent amount of screen time,  it only garnered him a win for Best Supporting Actor, not Best Actor. Probably because, you know, Jamie Foxx was the lead.

But perhaps Will got the last laugh. All in all, his last movie, ‘MIB 3,’ made about $17 million more than ‘Django’ did. Sure, he possibly missed out on an Academy Award nomination. But when you get to play life coach to wayward Canadians, little things like that just aren’t important.

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