Will Smith is an action star with charisma and intellect. He is beloved, witty and fetching. He is also among other legendary actors such as Denzel Washington, Tom Cruise, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Hanks.
At age 47, he has already had three prosperous careers: Grammy Award-winning rapper, sitcom sensation, and proven to be one of the richest and most successful movie stars of all time.
He is the only actor to have eight consecutive films gross over $100 million in the domestic box office, 10 consecutive films gross over $150 million internationally and the only one to have eight consecutive films in which he starred open at #1 spot in the domestic box office tally.
Newsweek once called Will the most powerful actor in Hollywood. He’s been nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, two Academy Awards, and has won four Grammy Awards. His films have grossed over $6.5 billion worldwide.
Although Will began his career with a very strong desire to star in summer blockbusters like Independence Day and Bad Boys, he seems to be committed to a luxurious stage. Movies such as Concussion, The Pursuit of Happyness and Ali aren’t intended to make hundreds of millions of dollars. They were projects created to share story and win awards.
A few flops and a painful Oscar snub later, Will’s extraordinary career has ultimately become unclear. Never to fear, Will has a brilliant mind! He confronts adversity with passion and conquest. Here are 10 facts that everyone should know about Will Smith.
10. Turned Down Lead Role in a Quentin Tarantino Film
Quentin Tarantino is a legendary screenwriter. He has written and often directed some of the greatest movies, such as Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill Vol.1.
Tarantino offered Will the lead in the film Django. Will declined and Jamie Foxx starred in the role exceptionally.
Will refused to play what he perceived as a supporting role.
Will told Entertainment Weekly that, “Django wasn’t the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead. The other character was the lead! I was like, ‘No, Quentin, please, I need to kill the bad guy!’ I thought it was brilliant. Just not for me.” Will is no stranger to turning down major films.
He also turned down the role to play Neo in the Matrix franchise.
9. Once Accused Of Being Gay
In 2012, Will came out in support of gay marriage. Will isn’t gay. Though, he is a top A-list celebrity and several accusations have been made against him.
Will’s ex-wife and mother to his oldest son Trey, Sheree Fletcher, took to her social media page to slam a woman by the name of Alexis Arquette for claiming the reason their marriage came to a end was because “Fletcher found Smith in bed with another man.”
“Fletcher, who has never publicly spoken on her marriage to the Concussion actor, said the only reason why she acknowledged Arquette is because she had to have a conversation with her son Trey about the matter,” reports celebritylaundry.com.
“Sitting in her living room, the 48-year-old, put to rest the gay rumors that have been swirling around Will, and said the reason their three-year marriage ended was simply because they were both so young.”
8. Was A Millionaire By 18
Will Smith grew up in Philly. While attending Overbrook High School, he was accepted into a per-engineering program at MIT. Will declined the prestigious offer and said that he “wanted to rap.”
For his loyal and brave heart, the universe rewarded Will with mega stardom and success. He and his childhood friend, DJ Jazzy Jeff, would go on to win the first Grammy Award in the Rap category.
By 18, Will was a millionaire due largely to his enormous music career. Later in life, Will credited his ex-girlfriend due to his success. “When I was 15, my girlfriend cheated on me,” said Will. “And from that moment, in this bizarre psychological twist, I wanted to be the most famous entertainer on Earth.”
Will was asked in a 60 minutes interview what drove him to pursue his dreams. He replied that his grandmother said that he and his younger brother had no other choice but to become successful.
7. Escaped Bankruptcy
A multi-millionaire by age 20, Will confessed to spending lavishly early in his career. He and his bros once got Gucci to close their store so they could “enjoy a private shopping spree”. “Being able to buy anything you want makes you a little crazy,” he told PEOPLE.
Will spent his checks freely and underpaid his income taxes. The IRS eventually assessed a $2.8 million tax debt against Will, took many of his possessions, and “garnished his income”. He escaped bankruptcy when the NBC television network signed him to a contract and built a sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, around him.
Will was concerned about making the jump from musician to actor. He had auditions for The Cosby Show and A Different World. “I realized later how scared I was to take that step,” Will told PEOPLE.
6. Boycotting The 2016 Oscars
#OscarsSoWhite has been a trending topic on Twitter for weeks. The 2016 Oscars will be the second year in a row in which no black actress or actor was nominated. Movies like Straight Outta Compton, Creed and Will’s Concussion were all snubbed by the Academy. Jada Pinkett Smith vowed to boycott the Oscars after the Golden Globes snubbed her husband. Jada’s protest for diversity has sparked support from Lupita Nyong’o, Spike Lee, Viola Davis and others.
These protests were met with backlash. Most recently, former Fresh Prince actress Janet Herbert reveled to HuffPost Live that Will didn’t deserve an Oscar nomination. Comedian Marlon Wayans speculates that the two were once sleeping together and thus the cause for their decade-long beef. Will has since spoken out and said, “If you lead with love and light, good is always going to come out of it.”
5. Thinks Fear Doesn’t Exist
Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. Will has been quoted saying, “Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me, danger is very real but fear is a choice.”
It’s a fascinating thing to say because one might realize that when you really deconstruct ‘fear’, it’s not truth. It is all in our minds, depending on our reaction and caution with thoughts and feelings regarding life. Moreover, Will is notably known for his intelligence. He can solve a Rubik’s cube in under a minute.
4. Supports Scientology
Scientology.org states that Scientology is based on “a religious system based on the seeking of self-knowledge and spiritual fulfillment through graded courses of study and training. It addresses the spirit, not the body or mind, and believes that man is far more than a product of his environment, or his genes.”
Willow and Jaden Smith, the super talented kids of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, have been under scrutiny about their philosophical views and Scientology may be an influence. “Everybody disses my kids,” Will said. “To me, that’s just part of the business.”
Though Will is not a scientologist, he has spoken positively about it, saying “I just think a lot of the ideas in Scientology are brilliant and revolutionary and non-religious. Will once donated $450,000 to Christian ministries and $122,500 to three Scientology organizations. An eye-opening documentary on Scientology was released and titled Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.
3. Will Wants To Star As Barack Obama In A Biopic
Will has played a number of magnificent black figures during his career, including Muhammad Ali and superstar stockbroker Chris Gardner. He now hopes to portray the current U.S President Barack Obama in the first African-American man to become president of the United States of America. Barack and Will both have remarkable smiles and big ears.
Idris Elba was rumored to be Barack’s first choice to play him if a biopic of his life was ever produced. “I don’t know – he’s got to write the end of the story,” said Will.
When asked about Idris, Will laughed: “He may have switched out. Idris has got that British thing. He sounds so intelligent. I’ll have to work on my Obama accent and show him I can do it better than Idris.”
2. Has An Open Marriage To Jada Pinkett-Smith
Monogamy is a tricky thing. There are many speculations that Will and Jada are in an open marriage, but nevertheless this powerhouse couple has been together for nearly 20 years.
For one of Jada Pinkett Smith’s birthdays, Will Smith created a DVD message telling his hot actress/activist wife there were garments in the bedroom and a car would pick her up. She was flown to San Francisco, where Will was waiting for her at a restaurant she’d been reading about. “That’s how Big Will does it!” he told PEOPLE.
The “Gotham” star told Howard Stern, “Will and I tell each other about our crushes on other people.” Jada went on to say, “Here’s the deal with that, Howard, you’ve got to trust who you’re with… I trust that the man that Will is, a man of integrity… He’s got all the freedom in the world, and as long as Will can look himself in the mirror and be OK, I’m good.”
1. Will Once Slapped A Reporter
Will was caught on tape slapping a Ukrainian reporter across the face (at the Moscow premiere of Men in Black 3). While Will was taking pictures and acknowledging fans on the red carpet, the reporter tried to kiss Will on the lips! The “Bad Boys” actor was ticked off and shoved him away. Then, Will proceeded to backhand him across the face. “You can clearly see that Will [was] incredibly pissed that the guy showed overt affection toward him.” After Will slaps the nuisance, Will says, “He’s lucky I didn’t sucker punch him.”
We’re told the man who pursued Will is a foolish instigator who often attempts to cross the lines with celebrities. An insider on scene told TMZ, “the reporter’s mouth brushed up against Will’s and that’s why the actor reacted so violently. Despite the incident, Will stayed positive and happily continued to sign autographs for fans and do red carpet interviews.”