Will Smith turned down ‘Django’ role because it ‘wasn’t the lead’: seriously?

Will Smith

Will Smith must be starting early promotional duties for his upcoming June movie, After Earth, which also co-stars his real-life son, Jaden, as his son in the movie. Oh noooooo. I only just realized that this film is both directed and written by M. Night Shyamalan, who is entirely hit and miss as a filmmaker. Mostly miss. In other words, I’m not seeing any reason that I’ll voluntarily run out and see this movie in theaters, and unless reviews are really solid, it won’t appear on my Netflix queue either. Oh well.

Entertainment Weekly recently grabbed a quick chat with Will, and they must have asked him about Django Unchained. During that movie’s early casting buzz, Will was rumored to be Quentin Tarantino’s first pick for the titular role. Big Willy says that he turned QT down because he only does lead roles. Like, the Django role wasn’t big enough for him (***SPOILER ALERT**** below). Say what?

Jamie Foxx

When Quentin Tarantino’s western revenge-fantasy Django Unchained was first announced, casting rumors pegged Will Smith as the titular slave-turned-vigilante. But Smith, who teams with his son Jaden in this summer’s sci-fi epic After Earth, tells EW that he turned down the part because his character would’ve been second fiddle to the bounty hunter (played by Christoph Waltz) who teaches Django his trade. “Django wasn’t the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead. The other character was the lead!” says the Men in Black star, whose departure opened the door for Jamie Foxx to play the role.

Smith says that before he left the project, he even pleaded with Tarantino to let Django have a more central role in the story. “I was like, ‘No, Quentin, please, I need to kill the bad guy!’” (Ironically, Waltz was considered a supporting actor during his Oscar-winning award season, while Jamie Foxx was promoted as the movie’s lead.)

But no hard feelings: Smith was a big fan of the final product. “I thought it was brilliant,” he says. “Just not for me.”

[From EW.com]

Oh, who cares if Django didn’t kill the bad guy? He got to kill nearly every other bad guy in that movie! Will’s just making excuses, really. His ego won’t let him play any role that doesn’t absolutely dominate every moment of a movie, and I’m glad he turned down the Django part because Jamie Foxx killed it, and furthermore, I can’t ever take Will seriously when he tries to play “serious” in movies.

I bet there’s more than just ego to Will’s rationale of turning down this plum part. He probably couldn’t handle going up against the sheer talent of Christoph Waltz. Like, it’s not that Christoph’s role would have overshadowed Will’s role in and of itself — but Will would have seemed ridiculous trying to act next to Christoph, and Will probably knows that, but he’d never admit it.

Jamie Foxx

Will Smith

Will Smith

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and AllMoviePhoto

 

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110 Responses to “Will Smith turned down ‘Django’ role because it ‘wasn’t the lead’: seriously?”

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  1. swack says:

    When I first saw this headline (did not read the article) I thought “how egotistical”. Don’t get it. You should be glad that you are still getting work, lead role or no lead role.

    • testington` says:

      When I read it I thought, “Wait, if Django isn’t the lead why did Christoph Waltz win best supporting actor?”

      • Mr.Smurf says:

        Just because one character is a lot more silver tongued than the other, doesn’t make him the lead character. The way I see it, the story is Django’s- Schultz is only a small, but very relevant and important part. We really know nothing of his past, of his hopes and dreams, but we know that of Django.

        This was a really good movie, and it’s making me a little mad that people are saying because Django’s character wasn’t as flashy as Schultz that QT didn’t write a good, strong character. He did. It’s the time period, and the fact that because Django could control himself better, he ended up with his woman. Same as Broomhilda.

  2. Bowers says:

    Can’t see him in that sort of role. Too edgy for him.

  3. Cinnamon says:

    eh he’s successful enough to cherry pick the roles he takes. i dont think he would have been a good fit because he’s too happy go lucky and fun. I see Will Smith and see smartass “gettin jiggy with it” fresh prince of bel air. Jamie Foxx was a better pick in my opinion

  4. Hannah says:

    Tom Hanks took a supporting role in Catch Me If You Can. Just sayin’.

  5. bns says:

    I love how people keep blasting him for this. A black man wanted to be the lead in a movie about slavery in a town where most black actors struggle to find work at all. Let’s bash him!

    And I know that Will Smith doesn’t have trouble finding work himself, but it’s more about the message than anything else.

    • LL says:

      MTE. I’m glad he didn’t take the role b/c Django was by far the least interesting character in the movie. Leo DiCaprio and Christopher Waltz were the best thing about this movie.

      It was like QT didn’t put any effort into the main character. Any black actor could’ve played the character. I saw a comment on another site about casting Foxx & Hollywood; their remark was completely spot-on: “Appeases African Americans by placing a known African American actor in the lead but build the entire movie around the Caucasian sub-actors.”

      That’s exactly what QT did and that’s part why Jamie Foxx (and Kerry Washington) were so boring and uninteresting.

      • hatsumomo says:

        There it is! I’ve been wondering why I liked Django, but didnt love it like Inglorious Basterds. There was something just a bit lacking with Django’s character, like I wanted him to have just that tiny bit of flair that makes you anticipate the next moment he’s going to be in the scene again, like Christoph Waltz/Leo Dicaprio/Samuel Jackson. I didnt mind Washington’s role lacking, she was just the damsel in distress and those characters are never well written. Maybe Fox did try to do the best he could with what he had to work with.

      • Jane says:

        In a film about a slave’s quest, and the horrors of slavery, it seems the best parts and the ones that were pushed for Oscars were written for the slave owner and the bounty hunter NOT named Django. I am not a fan of Smith, (hated Independence Day), but I think I get where he was coming from.

    • AKA says:

      Will is just putting it on an eloquent manner without turning it into a race issue. He probably didn’t want to go all Spike Lee on us. I remember when the movie was first developed there were reports that he turned down the role because he didn’t want to be type casted as a slave who is saved by a white man. I think that’s what he means by “Django isn’t the lead”. I’m sure as a black man it’s different from the other actors – he can’t risk taking on stereotypical roles. In his next two movies he’s doing supporting roles so it’s not an ego issue at all. And even if it was, so what? He has worked hard to get to his position and he doesn’t want to ‘regress’.

      • malachais says:

        I don’t agree with this at all. There are so many African American channels and shows, how can it be difficult to find roles? I do find it egotistical that he couldn’t do a lead role, however I am glad he didn’t take this role because Jamie Foxx killed it. I totally agree that he would have looked silly next to Christoph Waltz.

      • LL says:

        @malachais – What does AA having television channel have to do with this subject. So because black people have our own channel, we have to settle for any roles given to us.
        Will Smith had to right want to be given a bigger role since it was the lead character. Not the character Jamie Foxx played that was second or third fiddle to the ‘supporting’ cast.

      • malachais says:

        No one said anything about settling for certain roles, but I’m sure having a channel specifically targeted for a race/audience helps. This isn’t even the point, obviously Will has the right to make a choice but it does make him look douchey (like it is beneath him to not be the lead character in a movie). I obviously am not a huge fan of Will, just my 2 cents. I honestly don’t think Jamie Foxx played a second or third role to the supporting cast, he was brilliant and held his ground in the movie. The subject matter is sensitive so I can understand why someone would take offense.

      • bns says:

        @AKA

        I totally agree. He’s freaking Will Smith. He’s earned the right to steer his career any way he wants and if he wants to have a big ego then let him. Every other actor does.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        “Will is just putting it on an eloquent manner without turning it into a race issue.”

        EXACTLY my first thought, when I read just the header of this post.

        Smith is, for the most part, a professional and polite guy, definitely not one to burn bridges. He probably felt uncomfortable with the material presented in Django and passed– I doubt it had anything to do with wanting to be the lead.

      • LL says:

        @malachais – How does that make him seem like a douche. Actors turn down offers all the time, but since WS turns down this particular role he becomes a douche. He had a legitimated reason why he turned it down, like others pointed out. Most major stars like Smith have huge egos and somewhat they have to have them in Hollywood (especially black actors).

        Also to me, Foxx was about interesting as oatmeal and plain toast. He was overshadowed by Waltz, DiCaprio and Jackson. QT has a way with characters in his movies: great chemistry and great dialogue. But with Django, Foxx was a underdeveloped/undeveloped character with no personality.

      • AKA says:

        @malachais – Does Will Smith now have to move on to the AA shows to stay in the industry because that’s where the roles are? He’s one of the only 2 actors in Hollywood (the other being Denzel) who can play characters which have nothing to do with their race. He has worked hard to become a leading man, and that’s where he wants to stay. And am sure two-time Oscar nominee and box office champ who has acted alongside Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Charlize Theron is shivering in his boots at the thought of acting against Christoph Waltz. *eyeroll*

        @LL – Exactly! Django and the Kerry Washington character were so undeveloped in the movie. There’s a reason why both those actors didn’t get any awards love.

      • malachais says:

        Hehe again not what I meant but I agree that Will Smith is a good actor.

      • Diana says:

        @AKA, very well reasoned. Will is lucky to have your arguments on his side and I think you are totally right about this.

      • Suze says:

        I saw Django, I loved Django, but that said, I can see immediately where Will Smith would turn down the role.

        Django is a bit of a cipher, not well defined outside of his general – justified – rage at the white world that surrounds him. It doesn’t fit Smith’s strengths as an actor to play a smoldering, angry character who isn’t particularly eloquent – at least not when contrasted with the showy characters surrounding him. Hell, I wouldn’t have wanted to play against Christoph Waltz or Leo DiCaprio’s juicy roles, either.

        Maybe Will felt he could do more by passing on Django and picking different roles.

        He is entirely justified in taking the roles he wants. Say what you will about him but he’s earned his place on the A list.

      • Bridget says:

        Actually, it’s really not the race issue for Will Smith. He’s got a really specific criteria for his movie roles, and Django was way outside of those criteria. Vulture did an interesting article on it about a year ago. It’s interesting how meticulously planned and managed Will Smith’s career is.

    • Spooks says:

      As someone who has never been to America, and has pretty much seen sugarcoated versions of USA you like to portray in your movies, I’m shocked that race is still such a big issue.

    • Giselle says:

      bns: put the card back in the deck. It’s not about a black man turning down the role of a slave — it’s about Will Smith (a very famous actor) turning down an amazing role in a QT flick because he WASN’T THE LEAD. And yet… as pointed out in the article, Waltz won as a supporting actor.

      Simply sorting this as a race issue is ridiculous.

      • LL says:

        The movie is about a ex-slave trying to get back his wife from a slave owner, I think the ‘race card’ will stay on deck. Since the movie is about race, I don’t see why we can’t talk about race.

        Also, I don’t see a ‘amazing’ role he turned down, it was a okay role he turned down.

        When I hear people talk about him being too egotistical for turning the role down , I know I speaking to a QT fangirl/fanboy b/c they can’t see why he turned the role down. They just see he turned down a QT movie.

      • bns says:

        @LL

        People, especially white people, never want to talk about racism. They just want to bury it and pretend that it doesn’t STILL exist.

      • AKA says:

        Why do people keep bringing up that Christoph Waltz won in supporting and therefore that’s what he is? Well believe it or not Waltz initially campaigned in the lead category. It was only after Bradley Cooper won the NBR award that the Weinstein company realised by pushing Waltz to the supporting category they can have more of their movies nominated (both SLP and Django Unchained were produced by Weinstein). This was a blatant case of category fraud and it’s sad that people are using it for an argument.

        @bs – Judging from the comments here I think that is indeed the case. Is a part in a Tarantino movie the be all and end all of life? Believe it or not racism still exists in Hollywood and for an actor like Will it’s a factor that will always be at the back of his mind.

      • LL says:

        @bns – ia. Also, I like when they say “there’s no racism b/c we have a black president” or “why you always have bring up race?”, always get on my nerves.

  6. Jen Ash says:

    Well I think Djano Unchained did just fine without Will Smith. I personally think Jamie Foxx is a better actor anyways and Christop Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio are far superior without question. Will just wants to be the biggest name and biggest talent in his movies and can’t do a movie like Djano where he’s upstaged no matter how brilliant the movie is. His loss. He wants to be a star not an actor. Actors take quality roles no matter how big or small. Stars take only lead roles no matter how bad the script is.

  7. Andrea says:

    Greatactors diversify their roles. He has no range and plays basically the same character in every movie. Im glad it went to jamie though his acting was a little wooden. To me the perfect guy would have been Idris Elba.

    • lisa2 says:

      I agree about great actors diversify their roles. But in all fairness I could name quite a few actors that have been playing the same role over and over for years. Especially those actors that are a part of a franchise. Same characters and roles for 4 to 6 years.

      I understand what he was trying to say. @bns pointed out. It is rare to see a black actor in a true lead role. I think he wanted that character to truly be the lead. When in fact the Django character was a supporting role, and Christoph’s character was the true lead.

      It think he worded it wrong, and it came out making him seem arrogant and all about ego.. his ego.

      I admire actors that mix it up. That take chances. I know a few real A list actors that have no problem being a supporting character. It is the actor that makes the role. And those performances can in many cases steal the movie.

      Will like many actors have taken the easy way. They have stuck to a formula that works. I don’t care a lot about all the Super Hero films. All the same. But to me a lot of the actors in those films have all but let go of real acting. JMO

      • lucy2 says:

        If you’re part of a franchise, you kind of have to play the same character a few times. :D

        But I agree that diversifying a career is always a good thing. I don’t like Will’s summer blockbuster roles much these days, but he’s had some good dramas.
        To each their own, but I don’t personally agree with the “star only” idea – if you are in it for the love of the art of acting, a good character is a good character.

    • Ms Kay says:

      LOL! Denzel Washington very often plays the same character too, and he is still great at what he does.

      And I disagree, Will Smith is a good actor, he can do drama and comedies, he just chose the safe one that matches the personality he wants us to see aka the good and funny guy. So be it. But he is definitely great in drama, he was amazing in The Pursuit of Happiness, Six Degrees of Separation, Seven Pounds and the underrated Hancock, as much as he ended up being a hero, he was very much anti climatic and lonely, to name a few.

      • Sarcasmo says:

        Pursuit of Happiness just undid me, and so did some scenes in Hancock (which I really liked). I’ve re-watched Hancock just to see those very scenes again.

      • ycnan says:

        Yes I remember seeing Six Degrees of Separation long ago and being really impressed with Smith. I think he is one of those actors who most times have to go for the box office (ego) but is really a good actor if he gives himself a chance and a challenge. Like Tom Cruise.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Smith was GREAT in Six Degrees of Separation.

        Will Smith might not be an “edgy” actor but he’s pretty solid. He’s also brings a lot of charm and charisma to some of the more conventional roles that he plays-not every actor has the unique *sparkle* that Will Smith has.

        Agree that Idris would have been AMAZING in the part of Django, although he’s one of those actors that seems to hit a homerun no matter what role he chooses.

  8. LAK says:

    Firstly, many actors do this. It’s a serious conversation with their agents ie size of part and will I be the lead. You have to play games with them to take a lesser role, usually by pandering to their vanity, giving them more money or like Harvey does, promising them Oscars.

    That said, if anyone has ever read Will’s career strategy (looking at you Quentin!!!), you’d know that he would never take this sort of role.

    He apparently researched what sorts of films were no-brainer box office hits, that also allowed him to be the star, and found that it was B films where the hero saved the day(now helpfully called blockbusters). So apart from one or two things eg 6 DEGREES OF SEPARATION, he has never verred from that path. Things like ALI have been engineered to look like B films so that they fit in with that strategy, so yes, if he wasn’t the one saving the day and dominating every aspect of DJANGO, Quentin was wasting his time trying to get him on board.

    • bns says:

      Django Unchained made almost half a billion at the box office, and probably would have made even more if Will had starred in it.

      • LAK says:

        Not at all the point I was making. I will google the article and post later.

        Will Smith’s career strategy isn’t about the eventual success of a film, it’s about box office success BEFORE a film has been shot. He researched films right to the dawn of hollywood, looking at the ones that were consistently good and guaranteed box office. The answer was that the B films, that had a good hero saving the day were the most consistent and ALWAYS guarenteed good BO, even better BO if they had fantasy aspect to them. He said that is how he chooses his scripts. And if you look at his catalogue, he is consistent with that. Only 6 DEGREES OF SEPARATION verred away from that formula and he said he would never make that kind of film again which is a shame because that is the only film he has ‘acted’ in. Films like THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS and SEVEN POUNDS and ALI, all have at their core the good hero who saves the day. Not much different from INDEPENDENCE DAY a film about aliens but which also at core is about a good hero who saves the day!!!

        These sorts of films rarely fail. That’s why every studio puts one or two out every year because they can recoup their losses on the other films and they can leverage merchandising etc into a nice earner.

        DJANGO wasn’t a guaranteed success going in and had a huge risk of offending to boot. The part was pivotal, but wasn’t the main role. And DJANGO doesn’t save the day in a straightforward linear way. It says a lot for Will Smith’s concept of what a hero is, but based on his own words( per the article) and career choices, no way he would have accepted THIS part.

        I don’t dispute his box office record nor am I making a comment on his acting skills.

      • LAK says:

        Here is the original article from 2007:

        http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1689234,00.html

        Here is another article [2011]that references it;

        http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/6716942/view/full/the-movie-star

        The very telling passages about how Will Smith Approaches his career;

        “When Smith was trapped on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air set in the early ’90s, dreaming of starring in movies instead of selling Alfonso Ribeiro’s jokes, Smith and his manager, James Lassiter, studied a list of the top 10 grossing films ever.”

        “We looked at (the list) and said, O.K., what are the patterns? We realized that 10 out of 10 had special effects. Nine out of 10 had special effects with creatures. Eight out of 10 had special effects with creatures and a love story.”

        “Will Smith had no interest in “stretching himself,” just printing money. After those alien movies, he spent the next 12 years running the Hollywood equivalent of Dean Smith’s “Four Corners” offense.”

        In that 2007 Time Magazine feature, he freely admitted to studying box office patterns much like Theo Epstein studies XFIP and BABIP, saying that he and Lassiter got together every Monday morning to look at “what happened last weekend, and what are the things that happened the last 10, 20, 30 weekends.”

        “Will Smith hasn’t taken a chance since 1993′s Six Degrees of Separation — his first major movie, by the way — and only because it doesn’t make sense for him to take chances. He studied a system that spit out a certain outcome, then rigged his career to benefit from that outcome.”

  9. T.C. says:

    Django was the co-lead in the film also the title character. This is Will Smith’s loss. Jamie Foxx did a fantastic job. The film won 2 academy awards and was Taratino’s highest grossing film ever. *Kanye shrug*

  10. lisa says:

    does he even take parts where he cant shove his eternally surprised looking progeny into parts?

    he really isnt a very strong actor

  11. allons-y alonso says:

    Jamie Foxx was wonderful as Django. I really can’t imagine anyone else filling that role. He had the right kind of chemistry with Christoph Waltz. Besides it’s not Waltz’s fault he’s a great scene stealer. :)

  12. Ranunculus says:

    The only talent WS has is his big ego.
    How the hell did this guy become a movie star. He is not good looking, completely unsexy, he is dumb and annoying, he has no charisma, very little talent.

  13. mom2two says:

    I did not see Django yet (it’s on my list) but judging from what I saw of it, I think Jamie was the right guy for the part anyway. I think Will does have range (see Ali and Six Degrees) but he’s bought into doing what has made him successful, which is being the sole hero of the piece.
    At least he’s honest. And he’s not throwing shade at the movie, Quentin, Jamie or Christoph.

  14. Toot says:

    Jamie was perfect in Django and I couldn’t see Will. I’m very happy Will turned it down.

  15. Kasia says:

    I can’t imagine Will Smith playing Django. This would make the entire film far less enjoyable for me. Jamie Foxx was perfect for this role, he’s a much better actor, he can do both comedy and drama.

  16. ernie says:

    I’m actually amused by his honesty here. He’s certainly not the first or last to turn down a non leading role, but we don’t often hear about it from the stars.

  17. paola says:

    Someone need to tell Jaden that brow is ridicoulous. i wish i could slap it off his face!

  18. pretty says:

    he looks goofy. thank GOD, he turned it down.
    Jamie Foxx was a-MA-zing. I loved that movie so much!

  19. yeahright says:

    Who cares? This is his career. Should he not make certain career moves that you or I would as well? This isn’t about him thinking he is too good for something it’s about him making a certain career move. Who knows what it is but it’s his choice to make just like any of us would in our own jobs.

  20. KLO says:

    Willow looks really lovely, cool and age appropriate in the header photo. Thats all.

  21. rachel says:

    He made a mistake, but a quite understandable one. I can see how his initial read might not have captured the potential strength of the role. And he could have surely seen the familiar Hollywood themes: a white writer heads up a project placing a black actor again in a stereotyped subjugated position, freed by a ‘good’ white person and only then able to then realize his full potential. Really the same themes that made The Help so offensive to many. And the character that Waltz played Was more fully written. Now, was it awesome? I think so. Did it transcend all of the above? Yes, imo. And Foxx knocked it out the ballpark with sheer charisma, power, and intensity (he is so underated and underutilized). Could Smith have brought the same punch to the role? Not sure.

  22. Reece says:

    Not surprising. He’s openly stated he never wanted to be an “actor” per se, he wanted to be a star. He planned his career that way.

  23. Natasha says:

    Sorry, but as much as i love the movie Django was not the lead. He wasn’t even the supporting character. He was the title and a vehicle for Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio to flex their considerable acting muscle. Foxx did a good job with what he had, but i can understand Will Smith (who is higher profile then Foxx) turning it down. Will Smith is a huge box office draw and has been since independence day. Getting second billing is one thing but when there are 2 (or 3 if you count Samuel L Jackson’s) other parts that are more fully fleshed out then yours, why would you take the part that is obviously a regression?

  24. Relli says:

    I just watched Django this weekend and it was fantastic! I had my reservations because of the subject matter and I wasnt sure how tarrantino could do a quasi period piece. Being a long time fan of Quentin’s I appreictae his style, writing and scores I was dubious of how it would all work out, but he blew me away.

    Jaime Foxx was the right choice for this role and Waltz more than deserved the Oscar as he was very good, they had great chemistry. Whose scenes I really enjoyed were Samuel’s and Leo’s. Sometimes i begin to doubt Leo’s hype and then I see him in a role like this!

    • Mr.Smurf says:

      Oh yeah, people may notice that my dumb eighteen year old self is defending/questioning our current favorite modelizer Leo, because of this film.

      Don’t get me wrong, I always felt that he was attractive, but never really felt anything about him either way. I mean, I think I’m the only girl at my age who didn’t freak out about him, because of Titanic. And if we’re going to be honest with each other, I only watch that for Kate’s boobs. :) . Until I saw him as Calvin Candie, I wasn’t yea or nay for him at all.

      That should make me worried for myself, seeing as how I could’ve been in that situation two hundred years ago. But then my dad started buying movies with HIM in them…The Aviator, The Departed, Inception…and so on. Wtf is he trying to do to me? For anyone interested, go on youtube and look up what Guillaume Canet asks LeoD. I watch it every day and laugh.

      And for all of you reading this, please offer a kind prayer or thought to whomever or whatever you believe in for my neighbor, Miss Erma Caspary. I saw her yesterday, and the minute I sat down next to her she started puking. She threw up about five or six times, changed, and then fell asleep in her chair. Mr. Caspary was really worried about her; she is going to the hospital on the 17th.

  25. LL says:

    Someone brought this up on another site how this film has a ‘white savior’ feel to it. I didn’t realize until after going over in my head this movie does that. This would be such a cliche move, something I wouldn’t think QT would ever do for his films.

  26. bohemia says:

    I considered Jamie and tKerry s roles very interesting…

  27. Nev says:

    Exactly what is the point of this post?

    Will Smith like him or not is one of the biggest movie stars world-wide…he can pick or choose whatever roles he wants WITHOUT critism.

  28. Audrey says:

    I’m glad he passed.

    I really don’t care for Will Smith honestly. He annoys me. I doubt I would have enjoyed the film as much with him in the lead role.

    Foxx did a great job with it. I’d say he’s the better overall actor so I’m glad Tarantino cast him in the end

    Will’s reason for passing is worthy of a serious eye roll. I also have no interest in his new movie, sick of him acting with his son for some reason

  29. grace says:

    I do think Christoph’s role have overshadowed Foxx’s role

  30. Loira says:

    Then Leo did not turn off his role because he was not the lead. I am not American nor Black, but the Django role was very good in my opinion, a lot of anger and emotions that he had to have under control. Foxx and Waltz made a good team.
    Will Smith may be not a great team player. I read somewhere that the reason he turned off the Django movie was the very same why he acted in that Zombie film… What was it called? The one where he was the only human left or something. Now that IS a film for him.

    • LAK says:

      I AM LEGEND.

      i always think of Will as ‘The fresh Prince of Bel Air’ in all his roles. I loved the show when it was on air, can’t stand it in re-runs, possibly because Will is up on the big screen rehashing it so i haven’t missed it.

      That said, that persona worked for me in the MIB films, but i tend to pass on his films now.

      • Loira says:

        That’s right! He must have been happy in that movie where he was not just the only hero, but practically the only human in the whole film!
        And I state that I used to like him, but the $ciento conecction and his smug family make me dislike him a bit, he seems nice tho. I liked Foxx in the movie.

  31. Madpoe says:

    Clean Willy wouldn’t or couldn’t handle the tone of that film. Foxx got dirty, but honestly, I enjoyed the film because of Christoph Waltz!

  32. Jayna says:

    His loss. Even his beloved Tom Cruise has taken interesting roles in an ensemble. He should take note.

  33. Sweet Dee says:

    Willow looks pretty adorable in the header photo, but why doesn’t anyone intervene on Jaden’s perpetually confused photo-face?

    I just want to shake him to see if the eyebrows unfurrow so I can know what his real face looks like.

    Also, Jaime Foxx > Will Smith
    [4evah]

  34. valleymiss says:

    So basically, Will doesn’t look for roles based on their quality and complexity…he looks at how big the role is. Quantity over quality. Sounds about right, coming from him. What an idiot.

    Tons of actors have taken smaller, non-lead roles because they respected the project. Tom Cruise in Magnolia (and Tropic Thunder). Bruce Willis in Moonrise Kingdom and Pulp Fiction. Brad Pitt in True Romance and lots of other stuff. And notice how I named 3 “box office” actors. I’m not gonna talk about actors like Philip Seymour Hoffman or Gary Oldman, because they’re not box office actors. Willis, Cruise, and Pitt have much more in common with Will Smith than Hoffman and Oldman do. Boy, Will is a short-sighted moron.

  35. Mr.Smurf says:

    For those who say Broomhilda and Django are underdeveloped than the other characters, you just have to look at the context of the film. They are literally living in a world where they are not even counted as a whole person.

    Django, even though he is “free”, he can’t make those big, flowery speeches like Schultz did. He can’t just go in and save his woman like a hero. It’s because he’s black, living in a world where he isn’t even count as an entire person. His entire character is cool. Schultz is a very arrogant character. The scene in the town with the sheriff illustrates this. Instead of going to the town, saving that their Marshall was a wanted man, he shot him, making a huge ruckus and attention. He’s an arrogant character, who slowly loses control throughout the film- which he hates. He’s a control freak.

    Django, in the film progresses, until Schultz mucks everything up and is now in control of his destiny. Just because Schultz was the louder character doesn’t mean he was the most developed one. The way I see it, Django couldn’t have a personality, if he had been a real person. The racists of the day wouldn’t have had it. Which is why he made such a good mandingo expert. He knew how to handle the day to day violations of his people, better than Schultz.

    Django knew when to toe the line, unlike Schultz, yet he also knew when to say something witty or smart- which made Calvin Candie interested in him.

    With Broomhilda, she is a woman who has deal with being whipped and beaten and raped for a long, if not whole period of her life. Did people honestly think that she was going to stab Candie in the balls when he was making sexual jokes and showing off her whipped back? Uh, no. She kept it in, as long as she could….which makes her one of the strongest characters in the film. She is no different than any other woman during the time periods before and after, even today who HAD to grit their teeth and bear whatever they had to to survive, raise and love their kids. So to say she is underdeveloped because she isn’t the typical Tarantino heroine is just ridiculous. It’s a different kind of strength, in a different time.

    I’m at school right now-lunch time- so I’ll post more when i get back. As you may have noticed, I’ll explain this film to death. I love it!

    • Relli says:

      Mr. Smurf, I agree with your assessment that was generally how i read those characters too. Not as underdeveloped but limited in what the actually could and could not do, therefore staying true to the period. A good demonstration of this behavior was Samuel L. Jackson’s minstrel act within the company of other people with Calvin vs. their sit down in the Library where he got Samuel L. Jackson on Leo. It demonstrated that he knew the limitations of what he could do and say within in mixed company, when in reality he was and knew he was Calvin’s right hand man.

    • Suze says:

      Yes and yes and yes.

      Remember the times in which this film was set. The Black characters had to reign in most emotion and all action – in that world they would have been killed if they had acted as the Candie and Schulz characters did.

      I think both Washington and Foxx did a great job of telegraphing suppressed rage and hate in an under-the-radar way.

    • Mr.Smurf says:

      continuing on…….

      I loved the relationship between Calvin and Stephen. The fact that the true master really was Stephen. Stephen took care of everything having to do with money and upkeep. It was in the library that we realize Stephen is the master and Calvin is the little boy.

      I guess it just frustrates me when people automatically discredit a film because the characters weren’t like they expected, without even thinking of the time period. Or the fact that this was an extremely controversial movie, that was probably picked apart by a fine tooth comb. Do you think anyone would want to produce a racist film? People would never forget that…

  36. Sandy Pandy says:

    He’s lost his cuteness. Will is not ageing well at all.

  37. JL says:

    I’ve turned down jobs I didn’t want, we all have. And this is news why?

  38. CC says:

    His loss. Besides, I’m not to keen on a sci-man “expanding his range”. I’d rather see new talent that aren’t #scis.

  39. SLL says:

    IIRC he said he turned it down because he was working on Men in Black, had nothing
    to do with the Django character itself.

  40. Agnes says:

    Off topic, but I can’t believe how big his kids are! They’ve grown so much, they’re almost taller than Jada.

  41. Kelly says:

    How pathetic. At the end of his career, when he looks back at what roles divide the stars from the actors, the Django part will fall under the heading of actor. On more overblown blockbuster will not be remembered.

    Too bad. I used to just dislike his strident wife and over-exposed bratty kids. Now I dislike him.

  42. lavender says:

    Will Smith, there are no small parts, only small actors! (Forgot the guy who said it)

    I think it says a lot about him as an actor to not take the role. It comes across as if Smith doesn’t care about the craft and challenging/reinventing himself, OR maybe he knows his limitations.

    As far as trying something new … some actors became legends playing the same kind of role (Clint Eastwood) while some actors seem to change with every role they are given (Nicole Kidman, Gary Oldman). There is nothing wrong with knowing your limitations,and staying there if you are willing to risk being typecast.

    But you can be a big star and still make interesting films like Di Caprio – a huge star, acclaimed actor, works with great directors and still manages to take home a giant paycheck.

  43. Jag says:

    After Earth is going to be a huge flop, imo. The preview that I saw told the entire movie, including the “twist” if you want to call it that. And Will’s son doesn’t have the acting ability to be the lead in a movie. I usually like Will’s action movies, but with this being a M. Night one, and even worse with it starring his son, I’ll pass.

  44. Kahlia says:

    WOW. Somehow, I managed to have no idea Will Smith’s ego was that ridiculous. I totally agree with Bedhead. There’s no way Will could have been partnered up with Christoph Waltz and looked any more than goofy and mediocre, and he had to have known that. In my head, it’s like teaming up someone like The Rock with Daniel Day Lewis. Jamie Foxx, on the other hand, killed it as Django. Definitely my favorite movie of last year.

    Also, can Will Smith’s kids please just go away? I’m sick of them already.

  45. French Reader says:

    What’s going on with his son’s eyes/eyebrows? He always looks like he’s in dire need of sunglasses.