Will Smith Revealed Why He's Refused To Act In Movies About Slavery, And I Get Where He's Coming From

    “I’ve always avoided making films about slavery.”

    Will Smith knew very early in his career that he would not star in any movies about slavery.

    Will Smith attends the "Concussion" New York premiere in a plaid suit and turtle neck sweater

    “I’ve always avoided making films about slavery,” Smith said in a new interview with GQ. “In the early part of my career … I didn’t want to show Black people in that light.”

    Will Smith arrives at the Los Angeles World Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures "Focus"

    “I wanted to be a superhero,” he continued. “So, I wanted to depict Black excellence alongside my white counterparts. I wanted to play roles that you would give to Tom Cruise.”

    Will Smith arrives to The World Premiere of Columbia Pictures' "Hancock"

    “And the first time I considered it was Django [Unchained], but I didn’t want to make a slavery film about vengeance.”

    (left to right) Samuel L. Jackson, Quentin Tarantino, Kerry Washington, Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz attend 'Django Unchained' Berlin Premiere

    Because of his beliefs, Smith passed on playing the lead in the 2012 Quentin Tarantino film. The role later went to Jamie Foxx.

    Jamie Foxx attends the after party for a screening "Django Unchained"

    Although he knew slave films weren’t for him, Smith went on to star in his upcoming movie, Emancipation, which is about a runaway slave named Peter.

    Will Smith attends 2020 Salute to Greatness Awards Gala

    You can read his full interview with GQ here.

    Will Smith attends Nickelodeon's 2019 Kids' Choice Awards