Will Smith has revealed why he turned down the titular role in the Oscar-winning Django Unchained, explaining the creative differences between himself and director Quentin Tarantino.
Smith said he wanted to make the gory tale of revenge into a more romantic movie about a “guy that learns how to kill to retrieve his wife that has been taken as a slave,” he said during The Hollywood Reporter’s annual actor roundtable. “I wanted to make the greatest love story that African-Americans had ever seen.”
The actor reached for a current symbol of violence to explain why he preferred a “love story” approach over a “vengeance story” one. “We can’t look at what happens in Paris [the terrorist attacks] and want to f— somebody up for that,” Smith said. “Violence begets violence. So I just couldn’t connect to violence being the answer. Love had to be the answer.”
Django actor Samuel L. Jackson, whose upcoming Tarantino flick The Hateful Eight comes out alongside Will Smith’s Concussion on Christmas Day, seemed to find violence more palatable.
“No, man. I don’t have issues with violence in movies. I like those stories,” Jackson said. “I was really disappointed when I was sitting there, watching Sicario. I wanted to see those kids’ heads explode. (Laughs)”