Will Smith: ‘Fear Is The Killer Of Creativity’, Explains Misconception

Actor Will Smith recently opened up about the dangerous nature of fear and how he decided to overcome it.

During a recent interview on the popular radio show, Beats 1 with Zane Lowe, the Suicide Squad actor did not hesitate to label fear as a murderer.

“Fear is the killer of creativity.”

The Oscar-nominated actor took things one step further by talking about the overall concept of failure. The father of three stated that it seems as if achieving a high level of success in one’s career would create a high level of confidence as well, but he claims that the exact opposite is the case.

Instead of listening to the common belief that you should fear failure and strive to avoid it, Will Smith apparently believes in taking a different approach.

“There’s also a misconception of failing. No, you have to fail a lot. You have to fail early. You have to fail often and you have to fail forward. I’m trying to get comfortable getting back to failing … If you’re not willing to fail, you’re never going to put up that last shot.”

When asked by Zane Lowe to identify his biggest moment of “failing forward,” it did not take Will very long to identify one of the most criticized flops of his acting career — After Earth.

After Earth was the first time that I had like a massive, public … thoroughly and completely accepted failure.”

Commercially, the 2013 M. Night Shyamalan-directed film did not do that bad at all. It generated over $243.8 million at the box-office, according to Box Office Mojo.

However, it was viewed as a domestic flop, since it only made $60.5 million in the United States. Many fans and critics labeled that particular film as one of the worst films of Will Smith’s acting career.

Jaden Smith and Will Smith attend the "After Earth" premiere at Ziegfeld Theater on May 29, 2013 in New York City.

His recent interview with Zane Lowe is not the first time that Will has discussed the failure of After Earth so honestly. During a February, 2015, interview with Esquire, the Bad Boys star called it the “most painful failure” in his career, primarily because it also involved his son, actor Jaden Smith.

Will Smith did not allow that criticized failure to slow him down. As he revealed to Zane Lowe, it did not take very long for him to discover the need to drastically change his outlook.

“With that, that Monday morning after that, I got right on the treadmill … For me, success and happiness starts with your body. I got on the treadmill that Monday morning … Top of the year, I jumped out of an airplane. I was like, ‘You know what? No fear. Anything I’m scared of, I’m attacking. I just got back into that mindset of being comfortable to go out there and fall on my face. If you’re not willing to fall on your face, you can’t create at a high level.”

Even with the overall negative criticism revolving around After Earth, Will Smith has managed to build & maintain a solid career on the A-list of Hollywood actors.

In addition to having a leading role in two blockbuster franchises — Bad Boys and Men in Black –– the 47-year-old actor has also earned two Oscar nominations for two impressive, yet completely different, roles.

His first Best Actor nomination was from his performance in the 2001 Michael Mann-directed film, Ali, in which Will portrayed heavyweight boxing legend Muhammad Ali. His second nomination came from his first starring role alongside his son, Jaden, in the 2006 film, The Pursuit of Happyness.

Will Smith
Actor Will Smith attends a press conference and photo call to promote his latest movie "The Pursuit Of Happyness" on January 19, 2007.

Will Smith shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. In addition to wrapping production on the highly-anticipated DC Comics film, Suicide Squad, Will has also been busy this year promoting the release of two films — Focus, and the upcoming Concussion.

[Image Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images]