Did you know that Jamie Foxx wasn’t Quentin Tarantino’s first choice for ‘Django Unchained’? But in reality this is kind of a trick question, because every actor featured in the above collage was considered for the part.
Tarantino is the subject of a November 20th Playboy Magazine interview excerpted by Entertainment Weekly where he admits that Will Smith was actually the actor he had in mind for the role, before turning it into a real competition:
“I met six different actors and had extensive meetings with all of them, and I went in-depth on all of their work,” Tarantino tells Playboy (in the issue that will be on stands Nov. 20). “Idris Elba, Chris Tucker, Terrence Howard, M.K. Williams [from HBO's Boardwalk Empire], Tyrese. They all appreciated the material, and I was going to put them through the paces, make them go off against one another and kind of put up an obstacle course. And then I met Jamie and realized I didn’t need to do that.” So what was it about Foxx that led Tarantino to cast him? “He was the cowboy… Forget the fact that he has his own horse — and that is actually his horse in the movie. He’s from Texas; he understands. …He understood what it’s like to be thought of as an ‘other.’”
Who knew Jamie was a real deal black cowboy?
Check out some more quotes from the interview below:
On quitting making movies:
“I just don’t want to be an old-man filmmaker. I want to stop at a certain point. Directors don’t get better as they get older. Usually the worst films in their filmography are those last four at the end. I am all about my filmography, and one bad film f—s up three good ones.…When directors get out-of-date, it’s not pretty. I’m on a journey that needs to have an end and not be about me trying to get another job. I want this artistic journey to have a climax. I want to work toward something. You stop when you stop, but in a fanciful world, 10 movies in my filmography would be nice. I’ve made seven. If I have a change of heart, if I come up with a new story, I could come back. But if I stop at 10, that would be okay as an artistic statement.”
On originally seeking Will Smith to play the lead in Django Unchained:
“We spent quite a few hours together over a weekend when he was in New York doing Men in Black III. …I think half the process was an excuse for us to hang out and spend time with one another. …It just wasn’t 100 percent right, and we didn’t have time to try to make it that way.”
On getting high while in production:
“I wouldn’t do anything impaired while making a movie. I don’t so much write high, but say you’re thinking about a musical sequence. You smoke a joint, you put on some music, you listen to it and you come up with some good ideas.…I don’t need kush to write, but it’s kind of cool.”
On rewriting history in Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained:
“You turn on a movie and know how things are going to go in most films. Every once in a while films don’t play by the rules. It’s liberating when you don’t know what’s happening next.…I thought, What about telling these kinds of stories my way — rough and tough but gratifying at the end?”
On his ideal wife: “
If I want to live in Paris for a year, what the f—? I can. I don’t have to arrange anything; I can just do it. If there is an actor or director I want to get obsessed with and study their films for the next 12 days, I can do that. The perfect person would be a Playmate who would enjoy that.”
On the Aurora, Colo., shooting during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises and the issue of films glorifying violence:
“I think that guy was a nut. He went in there to kill a bunch of people because he knew there would be a lot of people there… That’s no different from a guy going into a McDonald’s and shooting up people at lunchtime because he knows a lot of people will be there.”
On rising to the level of his earlier work:
“I want there to be anticipation. I was actually quite proud when I read that Django is one of the most anticipated movies coming out this year. It’s a black Western. Where’s the anticipation coming from? I guess a lot of it is me. That’s pretty f—ing awesome.”
We’re definitely looking forward to seeing this film and hoping it lives up to the hype. As for the competition for Jamie’s role — we’re not shocked. Pretty sure those very same guys have competed for plenty of roles.