While talking to an audience at the Toronto Film Festival, Jamie Foxx, who ultimately landed the role, explained how he used every trick in the book to convince Elba not to accept the part because he wanted it for himself.
Foxx told the audience about how he ran into Idris one day and used the opportunity to try and finesse him into declining the role, Complex reports.
“Your beautiful black ass riding up on a horse, there’s going to be some problems for everyone,” Foxx joked.
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Tarantino decided to curb Idris, telling The Sun in 2013 that his British roots weren’t right for the part.
“Yeah, Idris is British and this is an American story,” Tarantino said. “I think a problem with a lot of movies that deal with this issue is they cast British actors to play the Southerners and it goes a long way to distancing the movie. They put on their gargoyle masks and they do their accents and you are not telling an American story any more.”
As reported by IndieWire, Tarantino considered Chris Tucker, Terrence Howard, Michael K. Williams, and Tyrese for the Django role… until he met Foxx.
“He was the cowboy,” Tarantino told Playboy in 2013. “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.’”
Speaking at TIFF, Foxx noted that his Texas roots got him the part.
“Django Unchained,” remains Tarantino’s highest grossing movie domestically ($162 million) and worldwide ($425 million).
Watch Foxx talk “Django” in the video above.