John Leguizamo Rejects ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’ Role, Cites Disrespect

John Leguizamo shares candid reflections on his acting journey

by Zain ul Abedin
John Leguizamo Rejects ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’ Role, Cites Disrespect
© Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

John Leguizamo, the versatile actor known for his distinctive roles and dynamic presence, recently shared insights into some significant career decisions, including why he declined roles in blockbuster hits like Mr. and Mrs.

Smith and Happy Feet. In a candid interview with Business Insider, Leguizamo opened up about the parts he passed on, revealing a mix of regret and reflective understanding about his choices. Leguizamo's career is peppered with a variety of roles across film and television, but not every opportunity was seized.

Among the roles he turned down was Brad Pitt's character's best friend, Eddie, in Mr. and Mrs. Smith. The decision was influenced by a stark disparity in pay, as he would have been paid on scale while the leads, Pitt and Angelina Jolie, were each netting $20 million.

"I felt dissed," Leguizamo admitted, acknowledging that while it might not have been a direct slight, his perception was shaped by broader industry dynamics affecting actors of color. "Sometimes you think you're being dissed, and sometimes you're not," he explained, discussing the ongoing need for personal growth and therapy to navigate such challenges.

Another role Leguizamo regrets turning down was the voice of Ramón in the animated movie Happy Feet. After his iconic voice role as Sid the Sloth in Ice Age, he felt hesitant to pigeonhole himself into similar characters, especially within the same icy setting.

Reflecting on the decision, Leguizamo mused, "It seemed logical at the time," though he now recognizes it as a missed financial opportunity.

Leguizamo's Missed Marvel Role

Despite these missed chances, Leguizamo has continued to thrive in his career.

He cherished his role as Sid, describing the process of creating the character as a labor of love alongside filmmakers Mike Berg, Peter Ackerman, and Chris Wedge. "We created this innocent, naive, beautiful soul," he reflected with affection.

His journey also includes a near-miss with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where he was initially cast as the Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming. The role eventually reverted to Michael Keaton, a change that Leguizamo hints could have led to legal action due to the advanced stage of negotiations.

Looking forward, Leguizamo remains open to new opportunities, including potential roles in the DC universe. He humorously noted that he would be interested in roles such as The Riddler, adding a playful jab about needing to be made up for the previous MCU snub.

As 2024 unfolds, Leguizamo is set to appear in a range of promising projects. He stars in the comedic drama Bob Trevino Likes It, alongside Barbie Ferreira, which has already garnered praise following its SXSW debut. Additionally, he will share the screen with cinema legends Clint Eastwood and Robert De Niro in the upcoming film Tin Soldier, promising yet another vibrant chapter in his diverse and enduring career.