Will Smith has a need ... to play the lead. The actor told Entertainment Weekly as much in a recent interview, explaining why he wouldn't take the title role that ultimately went to Jamie Foxx in "Django Unchained."
"Django wasn’t the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead," he said. "The other character was the lead!"
Smith is referring to the role of bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz, played by Christoph Waltz.
He may have a point: Waltz waltzed out of February's Oscars with a trophy (for supporting actor) while Foxx, who would have competed in the lead actor race, was not nominated. But it's hard to imagine that a character whose name is part of the title of the film isn't lead enough for Smith.
Apparently so. Smith revealed that before he left the project, he asked director Quentin Tarantino to give Django more of a role. (Spoiler alert!)
"I was like, 'No, Quentin, please, I need to kill the bad guy!'" said Smith. (Schultz shoots Calvin Candie, played by Leonardo DiCaprio.)
Still, Smith did like the finished film, saying, "I thought it was brilliant. Just not for me."
Smith's newest film, "After Earth," comes to theaters June 7.