Will Smith has finally explained why he turned down the title role of Quentin Tarantino's 2012 film "Django Unchained" -- he says he wanted to play the main character.
The part of Django, a slave-turned-bounty hunter, went to Jamie Foxx.Tarantino, who won an Oscar for his original screenplay, said on Howard Stern's Sirius XM satellite radio show in December that he had first spoken to Smith about playing Django. The actor did not talk about it publicly at the time.
"Django wasn't the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead," Smith told EW.com in comments published on Monday, March 25. "The other character was the lead! I was like, 'No, Quentin, please, I need to kill the bad guy!'"
In "Django Unchained," Christoph Waltz plays the bounty hunter who recruits Django as part of a deal to secure his freedom. The actor won an Oscar for his supporting role. Foxx was not nominated for one. Neither was Leonardo DiCaprio, who played an evil plantation owner where Django's wife is enslaved.
Smith told EW.com that he thought the movie was "brilliant" but "just not for me." Tarantino had told Stern in December that Foxx was a "perfect fit" to play Django. Check out a partial transcript of his radio interview.
QUENTIN TARANTINO: "[Will Smith] really liked the script and stuff. It was just one of those things where we got together and talked for like, a couple of days, for hours, actually."
HOWARD STERN: "Is that what it takes to convince Will Smith, to give him the courage to take this role?"
QUENTIN TARANTINO: "It's not that negative a thing. I'd actually just finished the script, so if I'm gonna cast you as the lead, I'm gonna want to talk to you about it. And we don't really know each other that well. So part of it is a 'getting to know you' process, as it was."
HOWARD STERN: "Do you do this 'getting to know you process' and then all of a sudden realize that 'Will Smith is not the right guy for my film,' have you ever done that?"
QUENTIN TARANTINO: "yeah, that's kind of what happened. Not in a negative way -- I actually really enjoyed the time with him and stuff. But it just wasn't right as rain."
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QUENTIN TARANTINO: "He really liked the piece and everything but it just wasn't a perfect fit. When Jamie came in and we talked, it was a perfect fit."
Tell us if you think Will Smith would have made a better Django than Jamie Foxx and watch the trailer for "Django Unchained" below.