“Idris is British and this is an American story.”
In a recent talk at the Toronto International Film Festival, Jamie Foxx sat down with Michael B. Jordan and discussed how he scored his standout role in Quentin Tarantino’s 2012 Academy Award-winning film, Django Unchained. The actor revealed that Idris Elba was in the running for the lead role.
Foxx said his manager informed him he wasn’t on the short list of actors. He later ran into Elba and, in an effort to secure his spot, told him he was too attractive to play the character. “Your beautiful black a** riding up on a horse, there’s going to be some problems for everyone,” he joked.
Tarantino actually ended up nixing Elba from the short list of actors, and telling The Sun, “Idris is British and this is an American story.”
“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 anymore.”
Foxx and Jordan star in the forthcoming Just Mercy, a film about civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson who attempts to release an inmate on death row. The movie debuts on Dec. 25.
Watch the interview above.