Will Smith Turned Down 'Django Unchained' Because He Wasn't the Lead Character -- Other Celebs Who Turned Down Movie Roles

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Will Smith Turned Down 'Django Unchained' Because He Wasn't the Lead Character -- Other Celebs Who Turned Down Movie Roles
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Will Smith

Jamie Foxx wows in the Oscar nominated "Django Unchained," but he almost didn't get the part. The role was originally supposed to go to Will Smith, but the rapper and actor turned it down because it wasn't the lead role.

"Django wasn't the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead," Smith told Entertainment Weekly in a new interview. "The other character was the lead!"

The "other character" refers to his role in the upcoming sci-fi flick "After Earth," co-starring son Jaden Smith.

Smith added that he did try to get Tarantino to up the part, to no avail.

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

Will, you kind of sound like a jerk here. Sometimes it's better to take a lesser role in a well-respected film than one in yet another forgettable flick.

He also turned down the role of Neo in the "Matrix" films, but he was ultimately more humble about that one.

"I watched Keanu [Reeves'] performance - and very rarely do I say this - but I would have messed it up," he told Wired. "At that point I wasn't smart enough as an actor to let the movie be. Whereas Keanu was smart enough to just let it be."

Think turning down a job in Hollywood is unusual? It's not! Smith isn't the only well-known actor to turn down a role.

Molly Ringwald

Molly Ringwald was a silver screen darling in the '80s with roles in films like "The Breakfast Club" and "Pretty in Pink." Her popularity waned in the '90s - probably because she turned down the role of a lifetime as the hooker with a heart of gold in "Pretty Woman."

Julia Roberts is probably pretty happy about that one, though.

It's not the only role Ringwald turned down, either. She also passed on "Ghost" in a role that ultimately went to Demi Moore and is one of her most famous parts to date.

Paul Giamatti

Actor Paul Giamatti, best known for his quirky roles in movies like "Sideways," was the producers' original pick to star as Dunder Mifflin boss in the U.S. version of "The Office. Ultimately, the iconic role went to Steve Carrell.

And it is a good thing, too: We can't imagine Giamatti uttering Michael Scott's famous line, "that's what she said."

John Travolta

"Forrest Gump" is one of the most memorable movies of our time, thanks to Tom Hanks' incredible performance. However, it almost didn't happen. John Travolta was reportedly offered the role and turned it down.

We're eternally grateful to you for that one, John.

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