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Will could get himself out of any trouble, no matter how bad it was, and despite his mischievous nature, he was a very smart and diligent student. Will reportedly got a scholarship offer from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, however, he turned it down in favor of the entertainment business. He fell in love with music at a very young age and decided to pursue a career in rap.
Nevertheless, the duo’s popularity seemed to get bigger by the day as, for example, their single «Parents Just Don't Understand» became an instant hit and the following two albums gained platinum status. In 1988 Will Smith and his partner became the first-ever rappers to receive a Grammy.
By the time an extremely famous musician turned 21, he has suddenly realized that all the hard-earned millions had vanished into the thin air, and what is more, he was deep in debt and creditors were already at his doors, knocking.
As luck would have it, it was at that time that «DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince» popularity began plummeting – comic hip hop bands began popping up like mushrooms after a spring rain, and «De La Soul» was their main competitor.
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (Will Smith rap band) – Summertime
The sitcom was very well-loved by the audience and aired for six long years. Its success allowed Will to pay off all of his debts and gave him the way into the professional acting community. Filled with enthusiasm, Will Smith decided to leave the television and try his hand at acting on the big screen. He made his film debut in 1992, in a drama, called «Where the Day Takes You», where he played a homeless young man Manny. The next year he successfully delivered the role of a reckless bad boy in a comedy «Made in America». His portrayal of a charming conman in comedy-drama «Six Degrees of Separation» caused a sensation among both the audience and critics.
«The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air», Will’s first television appearance
Will Smith has gained popular recognition after his appearance in an action comedy film «Bad Boys» (1995). He portrayed a policeman alongside Martin Lawrence. They looked absolutely marvelous together – Smith played a playboy and a lady’s man, while Lawrence was a dedicated family man and no wonder that this on-screen duo, in combination with remarkable humor, brought in high critic’s reviews.
In 1997 the actor was cast in one of his most-known and truly iconic roles – charismatic Agent J, in the science fiction action comedy «Men in Black». Millions of people around the world fell in love with Smith’s performance and his actor duo with Tommy Lee Jones is considered to be one of the best and most recognized from the 90’s. The story of a secret agent and peculiar registers' immigration for aliens yielded $5 million into Smith’s bank account.
Around that time Will Smith decided to revive his music career and released two albums back-to-back: «Willenium» and «Big Willie Style», which just like he’s expected, blew up all the charts. Celebrities of a bigger caliber began to recognize Will’s talent – and even Whoopi Goldberg would refer to him as «sonny».
Another career break came along when Will Smith appeared in a conspiracy-thriller film «Enemy of the State» opposite Gene Hackman. However, his next role of a cowboy in a western action comedy film «Wild Wild West», directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, was a total flop, but the soundtrack was a #1 hit on many U.S charts.
Will Smith's success story
According to Will Smith himself, his biggest regret is that he had turned down the starring role in the «Matrix» trilogy for this failure of a movie, and Neo is now forever associated with Keanu Reeves.
Soon Will was cast to play the one and only Muhammad Ali in a biographical sports drama «Ali». His performance was critically acclaimed and highly praised. The actor himself believes that it had changed his life. Will admits that he sent himself in overdrive and was constantly on the edge of his physical, emotional, and mental abilities. In order to achieve as close resemblance to the boxing champion as possible, Will Smith exhausted himself with 6-hour long training sessions every day, went on a boxer’s diet and gained 15 kilos of muscle mass, as a result, learned a foreign language and gave up sex! Oh, the things he had to do!
After the «Ali» premier, Will Smith never had to worry about his future again. Every year he secured a couple of roles, although all of them were quite similar – he portrayed goofy cops and alien-fighters. In all fairness, he was really good at this, and the audience adored him in «Men in Black II» and «Bad Boys II».
In order to get some balance back into his work, the actor decided to take up some more serious, dramatic roles. Strong-willed and no-nonsense detective Del Spooner in Alex Proyas’s science fiction action film «I, Robot» is one of those.
Will Smith in «Bad Boys»
For the next couple of years, Will Smith took a different approach to pick out roles and took up only the most prominent ones. Consequently, he became a professional dating consultant in a romantic comedy «Hitch» (2005) and a homeless single father in a biographical drama «Pursuit of Happyness» (2006), where he starred alongside his son Jaden Smith.
In «I Am Legend» (2007) Will played a single living person, who survived a zombie apocalypse in New York. A bit later he added another romantic role to his portfolio. He was cast as a love interest of a terminally ill young woman in a drama «Seven Pounds». That same year he played a homeless and constantly drunk superhero in «Hancock», alongside Atticus Shaffer and Charlize Theron.
After such an amazing international success Will has no need to appear in every single film, that he is offered to do. Some of his recent projects include an intricate romantic crime comedy-drama «Focus», where he starred opposite splendid Margot Robbie, a biographical sports drama «Concussion» and a superhero film «Suicide Squad».
Will Smith was cast as the supervillain – elite hitman, named Deadshot in «Suicide Squad». Fun fact: many A-list celebrities including Keanu Reeves, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and even Johnny Depp had auditioned for this role, but David Ayer, the director, was very adamant about casting Will. The actor had to shave his head and complete combat shooting training in order to get into character.
Will met his second wife, Jada Pinkett when she was auditioning for the part of his character’s love interest in «The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air». However, she didn’t get the role as the director believed that they didn’t look good together – Jada seemed really short and fragile opposite two-meter bulky Will. The couple became good friends, and within time, when Will’s marriage began to show signs of strain, he realized that there was more than just friendship between him and Jada. They got married in 1997 and have two kids together – son Jaden and daughter Willow.
Although Jada is not as popular and well-known as her husband, she has a rather impressive filmography. She was particularly good in a recent crime drama television series «Gotham» and a comedy film «Bad Moms». Will’s popularity was never a problem for her and never a point of dispute in their family; the actress has no issue with all the rumors that usually start circulating after the premiere of every film, where Will has a love interest: «I don’t care that Will may like other women. He can do whatever he wants. In the end, how can he appreciate my beauty, if he can’t appreciate the beauty of another woman?».
In 2020, several movie premieres will be held with the participation of Will Smith. Among them are Bad Boys for Life and King Richard, whose presentation was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also, before the quarantine, the second part of the action movie "Brightness" was filmed, but at the moment their status is unknown.
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