A damaging claim about actor Will Smith is circulating after actor Paul Rodriguez said the actor was horrible on the set of Ali.
Ali saw Smith earn his first Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of famous boxer Muhammad Ali, but did Smith get too into his role? According to actor Paul Rodriguez, who played Ali’s cornerman Ferdie Pacheco, Smith was a jerk to him and said “offensive stuff.”
Speaking to local San Diego station Rock 105.3, Rodriguez made a damaging claim that Will used steroids on the set of the movie to bulk up his body.
The actor said that Will Smith’s behavior flipped when the real-life Pacheco showed up on set, reportedly drunk and upset, saying that he was angry that actor Andy Garcia wasn’t playing him instead of Rodriguez. The argument, which took place in Smith’s dressing room, became so heated that Pacheco called Smith the n-word and was then escorted off the set of the film. After that visit, Smith’s demeanor completely changed, according to the former co-star.
“He was an a**hole… he started saying offensive stuff to me. Maybe it was the steroids he was using to beef up.”
— Complex (@ComplexMag) February 22, 2016
The actor vowed to never work with him again after Smith allegedly made disparaging remarks to him after the fight with Pacheco. If this is to be believed, perhaps Smith was channeling his anger at Pacheco to the actor portraying him? That’s what it sounds like if going solely by Rodriguez’ candid interview.
Of how he was allegedly treated on set, Rodriguez said of Will’s behavior towards him, “There was no cause to insult me or berate me. I’m no angel, but I didn’t have it coming this time.”
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) February 23, 2016
As far as Will Smith taking steroids, Rodriguez said that he doesn’t know if he was taking steroids, but he didn’t have any problem speculating that’s how he put on the pounds to embody Muhammad Ali.
This isn’t the first time Will Smith’s bulked up appearance has been questioned. The actor, who went from 217 to 222 pounds, explained how he managed to accomplish his dramatic body change. When speaking about how he prepared for the role, Smith explained that he didn’t take steroids and gave an honest answer why.
According to Blackflix, Smith said in an interview, “I went up to the weight that Ali was in 1974, so director Michael Mann could see me at that weight. He thought I looked great.”
Smith continued, “I ate more often — probably seven times a day — and I drank protein shakes forever. Steroids mess with your balls…excuse me. Actually, my body goes up fairly easily. And I go down easy too.”
Prior to this report, it was stated that Smith spent most of his time in the gym, spending seven hours a day in a training facility to bulk up for the legendary role.
In addition to bulking up in the gym, he spent a year working with dialect coaches and studying Islam to capture Ali’s essence.
So far, readers are skeptical of this claim.
— RADIO MUSIC/NEWS (@djboots72) February 22, 2016
@ComplexMag this isn’t a steroid body though…
— Alex J (@AlexJaime007) February 22, 2016
Aside from Rodriguez, no one has ever publicly came forward to speak ill towards Will on set. In fact, he’s known as one of the most likable people in Hollywood, with his even-keeled image and temperament.
[Image by Sony Pictures]