Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search

Culture Cafe

Will Smith on 'Django Unchained': He explains why he turned down Jamie Foxx's role

Will Smith discussed 'Django Unchained' during a recent interview and why he decided against appearing in the film. Will Smith was rumored to be considering taking on the role in 'Django Unchained' that would eventually go to Foxx.

By Staff Writer / March 26, 2013

Actor Will Smith recently revealed in an interview why he decided against appearing in the Oscar-winning Quentin Tarantino film “Django Unchained.” 

Skip to next paragraph

Recent posts

“Django wasn’t the lead,” Smith said of the character in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, telling the magazine that he believed actor Christoph Waltz’s character, the bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz, was the protagonist. “So it was like, I need to be the lead. The other character was the lead!”

Smith said he asked Tarantino to make the character of Django more involved.

“I was like, ‘No, Quentin, please, I need to kill the bad guy!’” the actor said.

But he was a huge fan of the movie, Smith said.

“I thought it was brilliant,” he said. “Just not for me.”

Smith was originally rumored to be considering playing the character of Django, a slave who embarks with Schultz on a mission to free Django's wife, who is working as a slave in the house of sadistic plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). Actor Jamie Foxx eventually took on the role.

“Django” won an Oscar for Waltz for his portrayal of bounty hunter King Schultz and for Tarantino for Best Original Screenplay and was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar as well as the Oscars' Cinematography and Sound Editing prizes. Waltz also won a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe for his role and Tarantino won the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay, while the film was also nominated for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor for DiCaprio at the Globes.

Smith is starring with his son Jaden in the sci-fi drama “After Earth,” which will be released this June. “Earth” follows a father and son who are trapped on Earth a thousand years after most of humanity has fled the planet. 

The actor also recently starred in “Men in Black 3,” in which he reprised his role of Agent J.


  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer


Doing Good


What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!