Will Smith Admits Daughter Willow Is Partially Responsible For Him Turning Down ‘Django Unchained’ — ‘There Are Places You May Not Want to Go’

As one of the most successful men in Hollywood, most would think Will Smith has ultimate control over his career. Apparently, when he’s in the process of selecting a role, it’s not only his opinion that matters.

When making major career moves, Smith actually values the perspective of his family, namely his daughter Willow Smith. In fact, her feelings matter so much to him that he turned down the lead role in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained in order to keep her happy. 

Will Smith has starred in many successful movies

Will Smith
Will Smith attends the Centerpiece Gala Premiere of “Concussion” | Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI)

With over 20 years of experience in the game, Smith has established himself as one of the industry’s top actors. His acting career began when he was cast to play himself in the hit show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Although Smith had already established himself as a rapper, he was broke at the time and desperately needed an opportunity, according to CNBC. An impromptu audition at Quincy Jones’ house landed Will the role.

After Fresh Prince ended, Smith grew into one of the most bankable actors in the world. Smith’s on-screen presence was a guaranteed draw at the box office, and he starred in several blockbusters including Men in Black, Independence Day, and Bad Boys. As of 2020, the 29 films Smith has starred in have grossed nearly $9 billion internationally, according to Forbes.

Will Smith has a great understanding of acting

As a veteran actor, Smith understands everything it takes to pull off a successful performance. He recently explained on his Youtube exactly what goes into the skill of acting, which includes “simulating reactions.”

“Acting is performing action,” Smith says. “You learn how to simulate in an authentic way, the reaction to the fantasy circumstances that have been presented. So, in order to do that, you pay attention to human beings, you learn how to relate. You learn how to have compassion for someone who believes things you don’t believe. You have to completely discard your opinion and open yourself up to the emotional comprehension of someone else’s plight, no matter how foolish it may be to you.”

Willow Smith didn’t want Will to star in ‘Django Unchained’

In continuation, Smith mentions how some roles may mentally take you places you may not want to go. He also reveals his daughter Willow advised him not to accept the lead role in Django Unchained because she knew what it would do to him mentally.

“There are places you may not want to go,” Smith said. “You know, I was gonna do Django. Because of the psychological space I was going to have to live in, Willow was like ‘Daddy, please don’t.’ She knew what the time around the house would be.”

Willow’s words must have stuck with Smith because he passed on the role and it ended up going to Jamie Foxx. Django Unchained went on to pull in $425 million at the box office, according to Box Office Mojo.