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Why Will Smith turned down 'Django'

By Adam Markovitz, EW.com
March 25, 2013 -- Updated 2014 GMT (0414 HKT)
Will Smith turned down the part of Django in
Will Smith turned down the part of Django in "Django Unchained" because it wasn't the lead.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Will Smith turned down 'Django Unchained' because the role was secondary
  • Smith says he asked director/writer Quentin Tarantino to change the role
  • In the end, he thought 'Django' was brilliant, just not for him

(EW.com) -- When Quentin Tarantino's western revenge-fantasy "Django Unchained" was first announced, casting rumors pegged Will Smith as the titular slave-turned-vigilante.

But Smith, who teams with his son Jaden in this summer's sci-fi epic "After Earth," tells EW that he turned down the part because his character would've been second fiddle to the bounty hunter (played by Christoph Waltz) who teaches Django his trade.

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"Django wasn't the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead. The other character was the lead!" says the "Men in Black" star, whose departure opened the door for Jamie Foxx to play the role.

Smith says that before he left the project, he even pleaded with Tarantino to let Django have a more central role in the story.

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"I was like, 'No, Quentin, please, I need to kill the bad guy!'" (Ironically, Waltz was considered a supporting actor during his Oscar-winning award season, while Jamie Foxx was promoted as the movie's lead.)

But no hard feelings: Smith was a big fan of the final product. "I thought it was brilliant," he says. "Just not for me."

See the original story at EW.com.

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