Django and the Inferior Role of Second Best

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Better than second best

Ok it really is 3:24 a.m. I am supposed to be writing my next article for my professional gig and I will but something struck me that I have to share. Recently Will Smith said that he turned down the roll of  Quentin Tarantino’s Django because he needed to be the lead. Have you seen the movie? I saw it in the theater and yes in spite of the excessive N word use I thought it was great. But when I first saw Will Smith’s explanation for turning down the role I thought maybe he’s trying to be political and not say how he really felt about the role. BUT HE DID SAY WHAT HE THOUGHT! And I finally get it and agree.

He said he wanted to be the lead. If you saw that movie you would know that Django actually was not the lead. It was Dr. King Schulz, the dentist turned Bounty Hunter. He was the one who was on a mission and he pulled Django into the mix because he saw something special about him.  I’ve never seen Spaghetti Westerns before (I leave the Westerns to my dad to watch) but as I’m told that is how it works. There’s a lead and a side kick. Django was ultimately the side kick even though he kicked serious ass in the flick. Will Smith did not want to be a side kick. And why should he be? He shouldn’t have to accept second string positions just because the director is hot or because Hollywood says it’s the thing to do.  I don’t think Smith is an A List actor but I can agree that he has earned the right to be the lead in any movie he’s in.

I once sat next to a politician at a luncheon who was a first responder in his former life. He said that one of the reasons he left the job is because he wasn’t going to take orders. He wanted to be in the position of giving them. At the time my thought was ‘well that’s because you’re very smart and were probably born to lead. God gives certain people that gift.’ After reading Will Smith’s comment and reading a discussion on Facebook tonight I think I see more of what Mr.Politician meant. The politician and Will Smith are not special in that respect. Everyone has that potential gift. After a while you don’t have to accept the position of taking orders just for the sake of exposure or building a resume. Hold out for the lead. If you’ve got what it takes, paid your dues, and are willing to do your best you should NOT accept sloppy seconds. That’s not arrogance. That’s ambition baby!! Never acquiesce.

Will Smith is not my favorite actor but he is one of my favorite people for this and a number of other reasons. He inspires me. I wish I had about a 100 of Will Smiths around me every day. It would keep me sane. For now I think I will try to restore my sanity with some sleep.

Thanks for reading!

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