Will Smith Finally Admits Why He Turned Down Role in ‘Django Unchained’
Will Smith is finally ready to fess up about what caused him to turn down the role he was offered in director Quentin Tarantino’s controversial film Django Unchained.
During The Hollywood Reporter’s Roundtable session, Smith who is garnering Oscar buzz for his performance in Concussion, opened up about the fact that when it came to the creative direction of the character he was to portray – he and Tarantino didn’t share the same vision.
Their inability to see to eye to eye ultimately forced Smith to walk away.
“It was about the creative direction of the story”. “To me, it’s as perfect a story as you could ever want: a guy that learns how to kill to retrieve his wife that has been taken as a slave . That idea is perfect. And it was that Quentin and I couldn’t see [eye to eye]”.
Smith goes on to explain that his decision to refuse the offer wasn’t immediate as he and the famed filmmaker discussed the project extensively but Smith remained torn and unswayed by the choices Tarantino was adamant about implementing.
“I wanted to make the movie so badly, but I felt the only was, it had to be a love story, not a vengeance story”. Smith would only consider the role in if the film had been converted from “a vengeance story” to a “love story”. “We can’t look at what happens in Paris and want to f–somebody up for that. Violence begets violence. I just couldn’t connect violence being the answer. Love had to be the answer”.
Considering – Tarantino’s films are typically immersed in intensely graphic content – it was probably inevitable that Smith would lose that fight.
His exit gave Jamie Foxx the opportunity to do the role justice which he did. Django Unchained also got the attention of the Academy by securing wins In the Best Original Screenplay category for Tarantino and Best Supporting Actor for Christoph Waltz.