Will Smith's 'Django Unchained' Role Didn't Happen Because Actor Wanted 'The Lead'

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Will Smith says he passed on a role in
Will Smith says he passed on a role in "Django Unchained."

Will Smith has accepted roles in all three "Men in Black" films, the over-the-top romantic comedy "Hitch," and the animated underwater feature "Shark Tale," but there is one recent Oscar-nominated film he turned down.

Smith was up for the lead part in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," EW reports, but decided against accepting the role.

“Django wasn’t the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead," Smith said. "The other character was the lead!” The "other character" that Smith is referencing is bounty hunter King Schultz, played by Christoph Waltz, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of the character. Waltz, it should be noted, won Best Supporting Actor at the 85th annual Academy Awards, a role that many felt was a lead.

“I was like, ‘No, Quentin, please, I need to kill the bad guy!’” Smith said, spoiling the film. As a result of Smith's passing, Jamie Foxx took on the role of Django.

Smith had originally claimed that he was passing on the part because of a scheduling conflict. The actor told Empire last summer, "I came really close, it was one of the most amazing screenplays I had ever ever seen. I was in the middle of 'Men In Black 3' and [Tarantino] was ready to go, and I just couldn't sit with him and get through the issues, so I didn't want to hold him up. That thing's going to be ridiculous. It is a genius screenplay."

“I thought it was brilliant,” Smith added. “Just not for me.”

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