Jamie Foxx has revealed his new movie Django Unchained was all the more personal because he experienced racism when he was growing up.
The Oscar-winner plays the lead role of Django in Quentin Tarantino's film, a slave bought by German dentist-turned-bounty hunter Dr King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), and revealed the subject matter touched a nerve as it reminded him of growing up in Texas.
He said: "It was the most incredible script I've read in all my life. I thought, 'Who has the guts to tell it like it really is?' The way he's telling the story, it rips your flesh off."
At his first meeting with the director, the 45-year-old felt compelled to share his experience of racism.
"When I met with Quentin, first thing I told him was about my experience, because this movie is a western but it also deals with slavery. And so I explained to him about some of these things that are in the script," he said. "As a kid growing up in Texas, there were some things where, you know, the racial component was definitely elevated. So I told him those experiences are going to come out when we start shooting this movie."
Jamie - who has said that "being called a n***** as a young kid by white people was something I had to deal with" - revealed the project felt personal to him.
"When a project becomes magic and special it means that at certain points in the script it parallels your story," he said.
The star said another strong parallel that made him a perfect candidate for the part was that he'd recently started horse-riding.
Jamie, who beat five other actors to the role, including Will Smith, explained: "About four-and-a-half years ago, I got a horse for my birthday and started riding. And the next thing you know, I run into this cinematic genius, as I call him, Quentin Tarantino. He says he has a Western and I said, 'Well I happen to have my own horse'. Now my horse Cheetah is actually in the movie!"
:: Django Unchained is released in cinemas on Friday January 18.