Will Smith started out as a rapper and an actor in the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Now, he is one of the most famous and well-paid actors in Hollywood. But, there are a number of things about this enigmatic and handsome actor that are sure to stun even the most diehard fan. Here are 10 awesome Will Smith facts.
1. Heavy reports that fans can thank a girl Will Smith dated when he was 15 for being the catalyst for his journey into the entertainment industry. As the story goes, she cheated on him and it changed his whole outlook on life.
“When I was 15, my girlfriend cheated on me. And from that moment, in this bizarre psychological twist, I wanted to be the most famous entertainer on Earth.”
2. Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, opened a school called the New Village Leadership Academy (NVLA) in 2008, but later closed it down when people became suspicious it was a Scientology school. Pinkett shot these rumors down, but the school still closed in 2013.
“All I can say is it is not a Scientology school. Now, if you don’t trust me, and you are questioning my integrity, that’s a whole different matter. That is straight evil to think that I would bring families into that educational institution and then try to get them to convert into some religion.”
Congrats to kids at the New Village Leadership Academy for hosting a Sp. Bee to raise money for their PK pen pals!! pic.twitter.com/0dfQE0mm
— project knapsack (@projectknapsack) March 16, 2012
3. Will Smith originally chose to go into acting because he needed the money to pay off the IRS, to whom he owed more than $2.8 million in back taxes. His first big role was in the sitcom the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
4. According to Booms Beat, it has been rumored that Will Smith turned down a scholarship to MIT, but this is not true. Although he was admitted to a pre-engineering program at the school, he never actually applied to go there.
“My mother, who worked for the School Board of Philadelphia, had a friend who was the admissions officer at MIT. I had pretty high SAT scores and they needed black kids, so I probably could have gotten in. But I had no intention of going to college.”
5. Will Smith was offered the role of Neo in The Matrix, but turned it down to star in the movie Wild Wild West. Smith would have rocked the part; although, it’s tough to imagine anyone other than Keanu Reeves as Neo.
Did you know Will Smith was considered for Neo in The Matrix? (he chose instead to appear in The Wild, Wild West) pic.twitter.com/z9njDD5wM6
— Rap Monster Radio (@Rapmonster) June 29, 2015
6. Will Smith is not a Scientologist. However, he has spoken about it, clearly supportive of some of the ideas Scientology promotes.
“I just think a lot of the ideas in Scientology are brilliant and revolutionary and non-religious.”
7. Will Smith is a glass-half-full kind of person.
“Give me a problem, I’ll give you a solution. I just love living. That’s a feeling you can’t fake. I’m glad every single day. I think that even the camera can feel that I’m a happy man.”
8. Will Smith met his wife of nearly 20 years, Jada Pinkett Smith, when she auditioned for the part of his girlfriend on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She did not get the part; it went to Nia Long.
9. Will Smith says that he modeled (in part) his Independence Day character, Captain Stephen Hiller, after the way Harrison Ford portrayed his Star Wars character, Han Solo.
10. Will Smith loves the line, “Aw, hell no!” and incorporates it into all of his movies. It is his version of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “I’ll be back!”
Happy Birthday to my favourite actor, Will Smith! One of my inspirations and I can relate to him. “Aw Hell No!” pic.twitter.com/2QyqlltLvX
— Robert Johnston (@RobertHone97) September 26, 2015
[Photo by Tinseltown/Shutterstock]