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Will Smith says he turned down Django because it wasn't a lead role

March 25, 2013 at 9:55 AM   |   Comments

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LOS ANGELES, March 25 (UPI) -- U.S. actor Will Smith says he turned down the chance to play the title character in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" because the role wasn't the lead.

The pre-American Civil War film was a Best Picture Oscar nominee, with Jamie Foxx playing the title character, a former slave on a journey to reunite with his wife.

Writer-director Tarantino earned the Best Original Screenplay Oscar, while Foxx's co-star Christoph Waltz won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role of Django's gun-slinging partner.

"Django wasn't the lead, so it was like: 'I need to be the lead. The other character was the lead,'" Smith told EW.com.

"I was like, 'No, Quentin, please, I need to kill the bad guy!'"

Smith said he liked the way the film ultimately turned out, however.

"I thought it was brilliant," he told EW.com. "Just not for me."

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