The former Fresh Prince is the only actor in history to have eight consecutive films gross north of $100 million at the domestic box office. But these days, Jaden and Willow‘s dad feels that becoming popular wasn’t as fulfilling as he’d imagined.
While at Cannes Lion on Tuesday, Smith explained, “I had so much success that I started to taste global blood and my focus shifted from my artistry to winning. I wanted to win and be the biggest movie star, and what happened was there was a lag—around Wild Wild West time—I found myself promoting something because I wanted to win versus promoting something because I believed in it.”
Although for years, Will cited Wild Wild West as an example of a film that he did for popular status rather than the love of the art, it still managed to earn $222.1 million on a reported $170 million budget.
He gave credit to the marketing department, saying, “That smoke and mirrors in marketing is over. People are going to know really quickly and globally whether a product keeps its promises. Back in the ’80s and ’90s you had a piece of crap movie you put a trailer with a lot of explosions and it was Wednesday before people knew your movie was s–t…But now what happens is 10 minutes into the movie, people are tweeting, ‘This is s–t. Go see Vin Diesel.’”
Will Smith also discussed his relationship with his late friend and mentor Muhammad Ali, stating, “He was unwilling to compromise for money, accolades. He was living his values, rich or poor. It was really beautiful for me to see how profoundly happy people were at his memorial and that’s a result of him living his life with a purpose. Improving lives is how I want to move forward.”
One thing’s for certain: we’ve loved watching Will Smith’s journey from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to one of the biggest blockbuster film stars in Hollywood.
SOURCE: E! Online | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty