Will Smith Rejected ‘Django Unchained’ Because Role Wasn’t Big Enough

Will Smith says Django wasn't the lead

Last Updated: March 26, 2013 @ 7:05 AM

Will Smith is blunt about his reasons for rejecting the role of Django in "Django Unchained."

Smith told Entertainment Weekly that the lead part, a slave out for revenge, wasn't big enough.

"Django wasn’t the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead," Smith said. "The other character was the lead!”

As EW points out, Smith disagrees with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which bestowed a Best Supporting Actor prize on Christoph Waltz for his role as a suave bounty hunter in the Quentin Tarantino film.

The Weinstein Company, which distributed the film, pushed Jamie Foxx in the lead actor category for playing Django. But he wasn't nominated.

The film, which is filled with antebellum brutality and the n-word, would have been a departure for Smith. He tends to favor more mainstream fare like "Hancock" and the "Men in Black" movies.

His latest explanation for rejecting the role differs from an earlier one. Last year, he told Empire Magazine it was a scheduling issue.

"I came really close, it was one of the most amazing screenplays I had ever ever seen," Smith said. "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."

Smith will next be seen in the futuristic adventure "After Earth," which hits theaters this summer.