Will Smith

Actor, Singer, Lyricist
With relentless energy and boundless charisma, rapper-turned-acclaimed actor Will Smith transformed himself from his early persona, The Fresh Prince, to become both an Oscar-nominated performer and one of the biggest ... Read more »
Born: 09/24/1968 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Filmography

Actor (146)

Concussion 2015 (Movie)

Dr. Bennet Omalu (Actor)

Focus 2015 (Movie)

Nicky (Actor)

Jimmy Kimmel Live 2015 (Tv Show)

Guest

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon 2014 - 2015 (Tv Show)

Guest

David Blaine: Real or Magic 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Actor

The 86th Annual Academy Awards 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Presenter

Winter's Tale 2014 (Movie)

Judge (Actor)

After Earth 2013 (Movie)

Cypher Raige (Actor)

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues 2013 (Movie)

ESPN Reporter (Actor)

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night 2013 (Tv Show)

Actor

Men in Black 3 2012 (Movie)

Agent J (Actor)

The Late Show With David Letterman 2008, 2012 (Tv Show)

Guest

Stand Up to Cancer 2010 - 2011 (TV Show)

Actor

The 64th Annual Tony Awards 2009 - 2010 (TV Show)

Actor

81st Annual Academy Awards 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

The 40th Annual NAACP Image Awards 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

Un-Broke: What You Need to Know About Money 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

Hancock 2008 (Movie)

John Hancock (Actor)

Nickelodeon's 2008 Kids' Choice Awards 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

Seven Pounds 2008 (Movie)

Ben Thomas (Actor)

The 2008 MTV Movie Awards 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

The 2008 Teen Choice Awards 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

I Am Legend 2007 (Movie)

Robert Neville (Actor)

Moving Image Salutes Will Smith 2006 - 2007 (TV Show)

Actor

All of Us 2003 - 2004, 2006 (Tv Show)

Actor

Celebrity Debut 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

Nickelodeon's 19th Annual Kids' Choice Awards 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

The 78th Annual Academy Awards 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

The Pursuit of Happyness 2006 (Movie)

Christopher Gardner (Actor)

A Dr. Phil Primetime Special: Family First 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

And You Don't Stop: 30 Years of Hip Hop 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

BET AWARDS 2005 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

Hitch 2005 (Movie)

Alex "Hitch" Hitchens (Actor)

Nickelodeon's 18th Annual Kids' Choice Awards 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

Reel Comedy: Hitch 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

American Chopper 1992 - 1993, 2003 - 2004 (Tv Show)

Actor

Blossom 1990 - 1996, 2003 - 2004 (Tv Show)

Actor

I, Robot 2004 (Movie)

Del Spooner (Actor)

Martin 1990 - 1996, 2003 - 2004 (Tv Show)

Actor

Shark Tale 2004 (Movie)

Voice of Oscar (Actor)

The 2004 MTV Video Music Awards 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

The 76th Annual Academy Awards 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air 1990 - 1996, 2003 - 2004 (Tv Show)

Actor

VH1 Big in '03 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Bad Boys II 2003 (Movie)

Detective Mike Lowrey (Actor)

Nickelodeon's 16th Annual Kids' Choice Awards 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

Reel Comedy: Bad Boys II 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

Revealed With Jules Asner 2001 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

The 2003 MTV Movie Awards 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

Will Smith VH1 Movie Special: Bad Boys II 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

America: A Tribute to Heroes 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Inside the Actors Studio 2002 (Tv Show)

Interviewee

Men in Black II 2002 (Movie)

Agent Jay (Actor)

Muhammad Ali's 60th Birthday Celebration 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

The 2001 MTV Video Music Awards 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

The 74th Annual Academy Awards 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Ali 2001 (Movie)

Cassius Clay/ Muhammad Ali (Actor)

The Source Hip-Hop Music Awards 2001 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

America's Millennium 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

MTV Uncensored 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Nickelodeon's 13th Annual Kids' Choice Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The 27th Annual American Music Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The 42nd Annual Grammy Awards 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The Legend of Bagger Vance 2000 (Movie)

Bagger Vance (Actor)

True Life: I Am Driving While Black 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Video Killed the Radio Star 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1998 MTV Video Music Awards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1999 MTV Movie Awards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1999 World Music Awards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The 30th NAACP Image Awards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The 41st Annual Grammy Awards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The Entertainment Business 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The Source Hip-Hop Music Awards 1999 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Wild Wild West 1999 (Movie)

James West (Actor)

Blockbuster Entertainment Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Enemy of the State 1998 (Movie)

Robert Clayton Dean (Actor)

The 1997 MTV Video Music Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1998 Essence Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1998 MTV Movie Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The 40th Annual Grammy Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The Barbara Walters Special (03/23/98) 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

VH1 97 Fashion Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Aliens Invade Hollywood 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Blockbuster Entertainment Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Celebrate the Dream: 50 Years of Ebony 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Men in Black 1997 (Movie)

J (Actor)

Soul Train Music Awards: 11th Anniversary 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1997 MTV Movie Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The 69th Annual Academy Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

The ShoWest Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Welcome to Hollywood 1997 (Movie)

(cameo appearance) (Actor)

Independence Day 1996 (Movie)

Captain Steve Hiller (Actor)

Independence Day: The ID4 Invasion 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

The 27th Annual NAACP Image Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

The Blockbuster Entertainment Awards 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

1995 NBA All-Star Stay in School Celebration 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

All-Star Ultra TV Censored Bloopers 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Bad Boys 1995 (Movie)

Mike Lowrey (Actor)

MTV's Spring Break '95 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

The American Music Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

45th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

People's 20th Birthday 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1994 MTV Movie Awards 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

The American Music Awards 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Made in America 1993 (Movie)

Tea Cake Walters (Actor)

Six Degrees of Separation 1993 (Movie)

Paul (Actor)

1991 MTV Video Music Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

A Comedy Salute to Michael Jordan 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve '92 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Idols 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

NBA All-Star Stay in School Jam 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The 6th Annual Soul Train Music Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The American Music Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The Search For the New Ideal Man 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Where the Day Takes You 1992 (Movie)

Manny (Actor)

MDA Jerry Lewis Telethon 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

NBC All-Star Stay in School Jam 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Racism: Points of View 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Sunday Night With Larry King 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The 17th Annual People's Choice Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The 5th Annual American Comedy Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The American Music Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The Chipmunks Rockin' Through the Decades 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Voices That Care 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Disneyland's 35th Anniversary Celebration 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Night of 100 Stars III 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Perfect Date 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The 32nd Annual Grammy Awards 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Time Warner Presents the Earth Day Special 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

An All-Star Celebration: The '88 Vote 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve '89 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The American Music Awards 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

A Closer Walk (TV Show)

Narrator

The Concert for Valor (TV Show)

Special Appearance
Music (23)

Annie 2014 (Movie)

("Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air") (Song)

The Wackness 2008 (Movie)

("Summertime") (Song)

Jersey Girl 2004 (Movie)

("Parents Just Don't Understand") (Song)

The Cookout 2004 (Movie)

("Summertime") (Song)

Bad Boys II 2003 (Movie)

("Let Me Find Out") (Song Performer)

Malibu's Most Wanted 2003 (Movie)

("Parents Just Don't Understand") (Song)

Men in Black II 2002 (Movie)

("Black Suits Comin' (Nod Ya Head)") (Song Performer)

Men in Black II 2002 (Movie)

("Black Suits Comin' (Nod Ya Head)") (Song)

Men in Black II 2002 (Movie)

("Black Suits Comin' (Nod Ya Head)") (Music Producer)

Men in Black: The Series 1997 - 2002 (TV Show)

Song

Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius 2001 (Movie)

("Parents Just Don't Understand (Teddy Riley remix)") (Song)

Austin Powers: the Spy Who Shagged Me 1999 (Movie)

("Just the Two of Us (from album 'Big Willie Style')") (Song)

Superstar 1999 (Movie)

("Gettin' Jiggy Wit It") (Song)

Wild Wild West 1999 (Movie)

("Wild Wild West (contains 'I Wish')") (Song Performer)

Wild Wild West 1999 (Movie)

(Song)

The Parent Trap 1998 (Movie)

("Parents Just Don't Understand" (as The Fresh Prince)) (Song Performer)

The Parent Trap 1998 (Movie)

("Parents Just Don't Understand") (Song)

Men in Black 1997 (Movie)

("Men in Black") (Song Performer)

Men in Black 1997 (Movie)

(Song)

Made in America 1993 (Movie)

("Dance or Die" (as the Fresh Prince)) (Song Performer)

Made in America 1993 (Movie)

("Dance or Die") (Song)

License to Drive 1988 (Movie)

("Jazzy's in the House") (Song Performer)

License to Drive 1988 (Movie)

song producer (Song)
Producer (18)

The Queen Latifah Show 2013 - 2015 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Annie 2014 (Movie)

(Producer)

After Earth 2013 (Movie)

(Producer)

This Means War 2012 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Karate Kid 2010 (Movie)

(Producer)

Hancock 2008 (Movie)

(Producer)

Lakeview Terrace 2008 (Movie)

(Producer)

Seven Pounds 2008 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Human Contract 2008 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Secret Life of Bees 2008 (Movie)

(Producer)

ATL 2006 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Pursuit of Happyness 2006 (Movie)

(Producer)

Hitch 2005 (Movie)

(Producer)

Saving Face 2005 (Movie)

(Producer)

I, Robot 2004 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

The Seat Filler 2003 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Showtime 2002 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Get on the Bus 1996 (Movie)

funding (Producer)
Writer (2)

Veep 2014 (Tv Show)

Story By

After Earth 2013 (Movie)

(Story By)

Biography

With relentless energy and boundless charisma, rapper-turned-acclaimed actor Will Smith transformed himself from his early persona, The Fresh Prince, to become both an Oscar-nominated performer and one of the biggest blockbuster action stars of all time. Smith started his career in the popular rap duo, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, which produced such hit classics as "Parents Just Don't Understand" (1989) and "Summertime" (1991). He capitalized on his popularity with the sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (NBC, 1990-96) and had his first brush of dramatic acclaim following "Six Degrees of Separation" (1993). In the mid-1990s, Smith became a major action star with "Bad Boys" (1995), "Independence Day" (1996) and "Men in Black" (1997), and began earning both critical kudos and Oscar consideration for his performance as "Ali" (2001). Meanwhile, his marriage to actress Jada Pinkett-Smith - whom he wed in 1997 - made headlines mainly due to their rare stability and devotion to family. On screen, Smith rose to the top of all-time action stars, becoming only one of three actors to have seven consecutive $100 million blockbusters after starring in "I, Robot" (2004), "Hitch" (2005) and "I Am Legend" (2007). As he won more praise for his performances in "The Pursuit of Happyness" (2006) and "Seven Pounds" (2008), Smith was well-established as that rare star whose infectious spirit and versatility transcended racial and generational borders, continually attracting record-breaking crowds to sci-fi adventures, comedies and dramas.

Relationships

Willard C Smith III

Son
Born in December 1992; mother, Sheree Zampino Appeared in his father's music video for the 1998 single "Just The Two Of Us"

Tanya Moore

Companion
Born c. 1970 Met in 1988 while he was performing at San Diego State University where she was a business major No longer together

Jada Pinkett Smith Actor

Wife
Met when Pinkett auditioned for the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" (NBC) Began dating in 1995 Married on Dec. 31, 1997 in Baltimore, MD

Jaden Smith Actor

Son
Born on July 8, 1998; mother Jada Pinkett Smith

Willard Smith

Father

Willow Smith Actor

Daughter
Born Oct. 31, 2000 in Los Angeles, CA; mother Jada Pinkett Smith

Caroline Smith

Mother

Harry Smith

Brother
Twin of Ellen Born c. 1971

Ellen Smith

Sister
Twin of Harry Born c. 1971

Pam Smith

Sister
Born c. 1964

Sheree Zampino

Wife
Married in 1992 Divorced in 1995

EDUCATION

Attended Catholic elementary and junior high schools

Archbishop Carroll High School

Radnor , Pennsylvania

Overbrook High School

Wynnefield , Pennsylvania

Milestones

2012

Reprised his role of Agent J in "Men in Black III"; re-teamed with director Barry Sonnenfeld and co-star Tommy Lee Jones

2008

Co-starred with Charlize Theron in the superhero-themed "Hancock"

2008

Nominated for the 2008 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Male Star

2008

Nominated for the 2008 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Male Action Star

2008

Played a suicidal IRS agent trying to help seven strangers in the drama "Seven Pounds'

2007

Played 'the last man on Earth' in the film adaptation of Richard Matheson's 1954 novel "I Am Legend"

2006

Produced and co-starred with real life son in "Pursuit of Happyness," a true rags-to-riches story based on the life of Chris Gardner; received Golden Globe, SAG and Oscar nominations for Best Actor

2005

Starred opposite Eva Mendes in the romantic comedy "Hitch"

2004

Voiced the character of Oscar in the animated feature "Shark Tale"

2004

Executive produced and starred in the big-screen verison of sci-fi author Isaac Asimov's "I, Robot"

2004

Guest starred on an episode of the UPN comedy "All Of Us," which he also executive produced

2003

Reteamed with Martin Lawrence for "Bad Boys 2"

2002

Reteamed with Tommy Lee Jones for "Men in Black II"

2001

Portrayed boxer Muhammad Ali in the Michael Mann-directed biopic "Ali"; Jon Voight appeared as sportscaster Howard Cosell; received Best Actor Oscar nomination

2000

Played a mysterious golf caddy in the period drama "The Legend of Bagger Vance," co-starring Matt Damon and directed by Robert Redford

1999

Reteamed with Sonnenfeld to portray James West in the big screen version of "Wild Wild West"

1998

With childhood friend James Lassiter, formed Overbrook Entertainment (September); company landed production deal at Universal

1998

Played a labor lawyer targeted by government agents in the thriller "Enemy of the State"; first screen appearance opposite Jon Voight

1997

Released debut solo album Big Willie Style

1997

Teamed with Tommy Lee Jones in the comedy "Men in Black," directed by Barry Sonnenfeld

1996

Starred as a fighter pilot battling aliens in the blockbuster "Independence Day"

1995

Became bona fide movie star with "Bad Boys"

1993

Hosted the Presidential Inaugural Celebration for Youth (part of the inaugural gala for President Clinton)

1993

Breakthrough dramatic feature lead, "Six Degrees of Separation"; played con man who ingratiates himself with NYC society by claiming to be Sidney Poitier's son

1992

Feature acting debut in significant role, "Where the Day Takes You"

1991

With DJ Jazzy Jeff, released rap classic "Summertime"

1990

Starred on hit comedy series "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" (NBC)

1989

Reportedly made and lost (due to excessive spending) his first $1 million by age 20

1988

Produced and performed song "Jazzy's in the House" for feature "License to Drive"

1988

Duo released double album He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper

1986

First film, a bit part as a pollster in "The Imagemaker"

1986

Released first single with Townes, "Girls Ain't Nothin' But Trouble" as the duo DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

1981

Began rapping at age 12

1981

Began collaborating on rap music with musician Jeffrey Townes (aka 'DJ Jazzy Jeff')

Raised in the Wynnefield section of Philadelphia

Reportedly turned down a scholarship to pursue music instead

Bonus Trivia

.

Smith was caught slapping a Ukrainian reporter at the Moscow premiere of "Men in Black III." The actor was caught off-guard after the journalist leaned in to kiss him on the lips. In a video posted by TMZ.com on May 18, 2012, Smith angrily pushes the reporter away and then backhands him across the face.

.

"Will has this very infectious personality, with a great spirit. Whatever he has, you can't teach. I think the Eddie Murphy comparison is there." – Brandon Tartikoff quoted in People, Sept. 4, 1990

.

"Everybody got excited about Will, but I was a little more cautious," admits ["Six Degrees of Separation" director Fred] Schepisi. "I interviewed a lot of actors. But Will tried to convince me that he'd do whatever it would take, go through whatever process, was sure he could get himself prepared. That confidence and charm was everything the character should be. [He was] worth taking a chance on."At Schepisi's request, Smith trained with both an acting and dialect coach at least three days a week for three months before rehearsals began. "This character had to learn to walk and talk and act," says Smith. "And I had to learn to walk and talk and act to play him." – from "Can Will Smith Play on Park Avenue?" by Meredith Berkman in Entertainment Weekly, Dec. 24, 1993

.

So Smith...called Denzel Washington "to get his opinion on how people look at roles that you choose," he says. "Denzel said white people generally look at a movie as acting. They accept the actors for who they are, and the role is separate. But black people, because they have so few heroes in film, tend to hold the artists personally responsible for the roles they choose." Washington told Smith that while he thought Paul was a good part for him, he also had some words of caution: "You can act all you want, but don't do any real physical scenes." In other words, Smith says Washington told him, "don't be kissing no man." – from Premiere, January 1994

.

"It was very immature on my part," Smith says now. "I was thinking, 'How are my friends back in Philly going to think about this?' I wasn't emotionally stable enough to artistically commit to that aspect of the film. In a movie with actors and a director of this caliber, for ME to be the one bringing something cheesy to it." Smith trails off, clearly angry at himself for failing to finish the job. "This was a valuable lesson for me," he says a moment later. "Either you do it or you don't." – from Entertainment Weekly, Dec. 24, 1993

.

"The thing that was great about 'Bad Boys' is that it was an inexpensive movie and there were no expectations. That is so beautiful because whatever you do is going to be fine. The significance of 'Bad Boys' to me was that two black stars were in a film that was treated like a big-time film [by Columbia]. Outside of Eddie Murphy and Whoopi Goldberg, you don't see this level of attention given to too many films [with black actors]." – Smith in The Los Angeles Times, Dec. 10, 1995

.

"When I look back on my career, I want to have a somewhat dazzling, eclectic portfolio." – Smith in The Los Angeles Times, Dec. 10, 1995

.

"It's a whole different thing being an actor. A rapper is about being completely true to yourself. Being an actor is about changing who you are. You make yourself a different person. You become a different person." – Smith in Newsday, April 2, 1995

.

Asked if he has aspiration to direct someday, Smith replied: "I don't think so. Actors can be a real pain. The directors I've worked with are all people who are completely open to suggestion. I haven't worked with anyone yet who rejects input. So it's not like there's been a wonderful idea I've had that I would've done differently if I'd been directing." – from the Daily News, Nov. 29, 1998

.

"There's different ways that you can measure people's greatness. And the way I like to measure greatness is: How many people do you affect? In your time on earth, how many people can you affect? How many people can you make want to be better? Or how many people can you inspire to want to do what you do?" – Smith to Vanity Fair, July 1999

.

"I just can't sit down that long. I have to be up, I have to be doing something. I have to be creating something, I have to be moving. I've always had too much energy." – Smith to London's The Sunday Times, June 27, 1999

.

"I want to be as funny as Eddie Murphy and as great as Denzel [Washington]. I'm committed to personal excellence and whatever that lends itself to." – Smith to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct. 29, 2000

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"Redford was the first director where I closed my eyes and said, 'I'm not going to to allow my natural instincts to afect waht you want on-camera.' It was a dangerous scary place, I had to focus and create a characterm, not just do my Will Smith thing and get paid." – Smith on his appearance in "The Legend of Bagger Vance" to Premiere, December 2000

.

"I despise weakness. Weakness feels like a cancer. If someone around you us weak, eventually they'll make you weak." – Smith quoted in "The Contender" by John Brodie, GQ, December 2001

.

"I'd turned down the part over and over, And for one reason: I was petrified! I honestly didn't think I was smart enough to understand how to play Ali. Everyone would come in excited about the movie till they talked to me, and then they'd go away, thinking, 'This guy is an idiot.'"I was too embarrassed to say I didn't feel intellectually prepared to tackle the work. And the script by Stephen Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson was so good and had so much depth that it scared me even more." – Smith to The Los Angeles Times, Dec. 9, 2001

.

"I am just profoundly changed after making this film. I have a greater understanding of greatness. I had the opportunity to break down, define, and quantify and ingest the parameters of greatness. It's really bittersweet, because I had the opportunity to be that close and to understand it and never really know if I will have the challenges to attain that level of greatness in my life." – Smith on "Ali" quoted in Time Out New York, Dec. 13-27, 2001

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On playing Muhammad Ali: "It represents the most complete performance I've ever been given the opportunity to display. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, there are so many different aspects and so many ups and downs. It took more of what I possess as a performer and a person to create this interpretation of Muhammad Ali." – Smith quoted by Stephen Schaefer in Boston Herald, Dec. 23, 2001

.

"I desire perfection, I desire being the best that I can possibly be. I don't want to take time to eat, I don't want to take time to sleep. I want to let the other guy be eating and sleeping, while I'm working and trying to achieve my best earthly perfection. So with that desire, I generally don't allow myself to think about how it's going to land as much as I try to just worry about the task at hand and make sure I get as close to a hundred percent as possible, and generally good things have come out of that for me." – Smith quoted in Steppin' Outmagazine, Jan. 9, 2002

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"The most difficult aspect was trying to develop an understandingof the black American point of view during the '60s." Being a child of rap music, it's difficult to understand social upheaval. A sign that says 'Coloreds Only' on the bus, that's just so foreign to me! That was a real struggle for me to understand how you would wake up and live your life under those circumstances." – Smith on the challenges of acting in "Ali" in Entertainment Weekly, Jan. 16, 2002

.

"I like to prove that people are wrong. I'm driven by actions, not by dialogue." – Smith on having to overcome prejudice in casting to Entertainment Weekly Jan. 16, 2002

.

"My eyes weren't open enough to see that this is a piece of work. This is not me, this is Paul Poitier [the character he was portraying]. I think that I'm more mature now. I wish I had another shot at it." – Smith on refusing to kiss another man, as required by the script for the 'kiss' scene of "Six Degrees of Separation" in which he played a gay hustler, Biography, Spring 2004

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"Will is a minority,'' says Duane Martin, star of 'All of Us,' a CW sitcom executive-produced by Smith. "Minorities all over the world relate to him and they marvel at him. When Tom [Cruise] is done, you're going to get another Tom coming through. But you don't get a Will coming through very often." – Martin on how Will Smith inspires people to EW, Dec. 15, 2006

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"Comedy is better than money or looks. It's like the pressure of a laugh makes a girl's underwear fall off." – Smith to Empire magazine, February 2007

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Smith was nicknamed "The Prince" by a teacher in Overbrook High School because of his regal attitude and his ability to talk his way out of difficult situations. "Fresh" was adopted later from street lingo meaning "cool."

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Smith was a golf fanatic.

.

Smith hosted the Presidential Inaugural Celebration for Youth (part of the 1993 Inaugural Gala for President Clinton).

.

On his upbringing, Smith told Rolling Stone (Dec. 10, 1998): "My father made me a soldier, and my mother gave me the strength to be one."

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