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Will Smith Reveals Why He Rejected "Django Unchained" Role

Jun Sato/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Will Smith apparently doesn’t believe in the old saying, “There are no small parts, only small actors.”  He says he turned down Jamie Foxx’s role in Django Unchained because it wasn’t big enough for him.

In the Oscar-winning film, Foxx plays a 19th-century slave-turned-bounty hunter named Django, who’s on a mission to rescue his wife from a plantation owner.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Smith reveals that he was worried the Django character would take a backseat to the bounty hunter played by Christoph Waltz.

He says, “Django wasn’t the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead.  The other character was the lead!”

Smith says he pushed director Quentin Tarantino to give Django more of a presence in the film.

He recalls, “I was like, ‘No, Quentin, please, I need to kill the bad guy!’”

Smith adds that he thought the version of Django Unchained that ended up in theaters was “brilliant” but “not for me.”

Django Unchained
won two Oscars last month –- best supporting actor for Waltz and best screenplay for Tarantino -– and was nominated for best picture.

Smith’s next film, the M. Night Shyamalan-directed sci-fi flick After Earth, opens this June.  It co-stars his son Jaden Smith.

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