“I just couldn’t connect to violence”: Will Smith’s Hypocrisy Made Him Drop $426M Quentin Tarantino Movie Because of Extreme Violence as Actor Slapped Chris Rock 10 Years Later

“I just couldn’t connect to violence”: Will Smith’s Hypocrisy Made Him Drop $426M Quentin Tarantino Movie Because of Extreme Violence as Actor Slapped Chris Rock 10 Years Later

Time tends to bring rather drastic changes in people, for better or worse, and Will Smith is a living, breathing reminder of the same.

One of the most bankable stars of Hollywood, Smith used to be a paragon of virtue, ready to turn down the opportunity of working with one of the most renowned filmmakers and dropping a fat paycheck worth millions, all because he didn’t approve of the rather violent nature of the movie’s content. But that was around 2011-12, and a decade, as it turns out, was plenty of time for Smith to change into someone who now not only condoned violence but even actively partook in it given how he slapped the wits out of Chris Rock at the Oscars last year.

Hypocrisy certainly isn’t the best look on the Fresh Prince.

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Will Smith
Will Smith at the 94th Academy Awards nominees luncheon in LA

See also: “Think of yourself as a politician”: Arnold Schwarzenegger Showed Will Smith the Way to Conquer Hollywood After He Became Jealous of $620M Worth Tom Cruise

Will Smith Almost Starred in Django Unchained (2012) 

Before Jamie Foxx portrayed the eponymous character in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, the director had offered the role to Will Smith on a silver platter. But the award-winning actor promptly refused the western drama because he didn’t want to make “a slavery film about vengeance.” 

In The Hollywood Reporter‘s 2015 Actor’s Roundtable, Smith, 54 revealed his reasons behind turning down the Oscar-winning project despite being the frontrunner for Django’s role. The primary reason why he didn’t seize the opportunity was due to the prolific creative differences he shared with the director wherein Tarantino wanted it to be a revenge story and Smith was desperate for the premise to be based on the prospect of “love.” 

“It was about the creative direction of the story. To me, it’s as perfect a story as you could ever want: a guy that learns how to kill to retrieve his wife that has been taken as a slave. That idea is perfect. And it was just that Quentin and I couldn’t see [eye to eye].”

Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx as Django in Django Unchained

The Men in Black actor admitted that he wanted to “make that movie so badly,” but at the same time, he also felt that he’d only be able to attain that particular goal if it was “a love story, not a vengeance story.” 

“Violence begets violence. I just couldn’t connect to violence being the answer. Love had to be the answer.” 

Who knew 10 years later Smith would be slapping comedians at Academy Awards smack dab in the middle of the whole wide world to see?

See also: “He sent me back four hours of notes”: Will Smith Revealed Tom Cruise Made His $585M Movie Into Blockbuster as Top Gun 2 Star Now Avoids $350M Star to Save Reputation

Will Smith Had Several Other Reasons for Dropping Django Unchained 

Sure, Smith wasn’t in accordance with the Pulp Fiction director for him to get on board Django Unchained, but the difference in their creative perspectives wasn’t the only thing that held the former back from doing the film.

One of the other crucial reasons why the Suicide Squad actor didn’t accept the role, besides not having a vision for a “vengeance story,” was because he wasn’t given the lead character in the $426 million box office success. “Django wasn’t the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead. The other character was the lead!” Smith told EW.

Django Unchained
A still from Django Unchained

Smith’s children had been yet another reason behind his refusal. Not too long ago, the Emancipation star recalled how when he’d first discussed the project with his kids, they’d seemed perturbed about what it would mean for their father to step into a slavery-centered role, and that had rendered Smith all the more uncertain about the film.

“We had a family meeting and we all talked about Django,” the, I Robot star remarked during the Red Table Talk episode on Facebook Watch. “I wasn’t all the way in, but one of the main reasons that I wasn’t was the looks on your faces ’cause you knew what that would mean and those characters seep back into the house.” 

Django Unchained can be streamed on Netflix.

See also: “This is not how business works”: Will Smith Was Surprised by Tom Cruise After Making His Life’s Mission to Outshine $620M Hollywood Superstar

Source: The Hollywood Reporter 

Written by Khushi Shah

With a prolific knowledge of everything pop culture and a strong penchant for writing, Khushi has penned over 600 articles during her time as an author at FandomWire.
An abnormal psychology student and an avid reader of dark fiction, her most trusted soldiers are coffee and a good book.