Jamie Foxx’s starring role in “Django Unchained” was the end result of one of the most closely followed casting processes in the past few years. First, Will Smith was supposedly named as Quentin Tarantino’s favorite. Then names like Idris Elba and Michael K. Williams started showing up in headlines.
Foxx, obviously, won the role, and when he stopped by MTV News during his visit to San Diego Comic-Con, he shared his experiences getting the part with Josh Horowitz and filled us in on how his upbringing in the South affected that.
Back when Smith was attached to the project, Foxx had the misfortune of finding out about the role after the fact. “When I saw it, I actually saw it on the internet and saw that Will Smith was playing him, so I was like, ’Wow, another great project that I didn’t know anything about,’ ” Foxx said. “Then I quickly switched management.”
Though Smith’s attachment meant he couldn’t have the role, Foxx celebrated the idea of that casting. “Really, I thought it was already gone. I thought, ’What a great opportunity for Will Smith to do something really, really courageous,’ ” he said. “I guess scheduling and other things came into play, and he wasn’t able to.”
Once Foxx was in the mix for the part, he spoke with Tarantino about what he could bring to the role. “Then I got a chance to meet Quentin with the whole process of looking for someone,” Foxx said. “When I met him, I talked about my experiences growing up, me growing up in the South, and the words that I read on the page weren’t so knee-jerk-ish for me, because these are things that people say in the South. It’s not to say that anybody’s good or bad in the South. It’s just the way things are and were back then.”
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