Whether he's playing a cool young fighter pilot in Now dis is a story all about how my life got flipped turned upside-down... ♪
Independence Day or a 19th century steampunk cowboy in
Wild Wild West or a Converse-wearing Luddite in
I, Robot, there's something distinctly ... Will Smithian about every piece of dialogue he delivers. All of the other actors in his movies are saying lines in the script that either further the plot or set up jokes, while Will Smith gets to say things like 'Aw, hell no' and 'Now that's what
I'm talking about' and a variety of other 'Will Smith lines,' for lack of a better term.
If Will Smith is not the most famous actor on the planet, he's in the top five. He's also one of the best-paid, pulling salaries estimated at $20 million per movie
Willard Christopher "Will" Smith, Jr. (born September 25, 1968) is an actor and rapper. West Philadelphia
born and raised, on the playground
is where he spent most of his days, chillin' out, maxin' relaxin' all cool
, until Smith first entered the public eye as part of "DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince", a lighthearted hip-hop duo known for such songs as "Parents Just Don't Understand" and "Summertime". He really came to fame with the NBC Sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
before moving into what has become a very successful acting career, including two Academy Award
His Uncle Tomfoolery
days are pretty much gone
, with Smith playing semi-serious or serious roles most of the time now, and his comedic acting not being race-based. (It also helps that he is the undisputed lead in any movie he's in — one of the few black actors who regularly does this.)
In any given movie, expect a Shirtless Scene
and expect him as well to say "AW HELL NAW
!" at some point.The 44th President of the United States
wouldn't mind being portrayed by him in a movie.
His most famous roles… well, the list is sort of legendary.◊
Want proof? Just have a look at his IMDB profile
. Add to this, even his stinkers tend to suck in tons of money. The failure of Wild Wild West
prompted Smith to observe: "That's how big I am. I bomb
over $100 million." Of all the films Smith has been the star of, only the Muhammad Ali
has made a loss - Smith is that
much of a box office draw.
Not to be confused with legendary tough-guy actor William Smith
. Or Will Smith of Whiskey Media's "Tested" site (as much as they like to joke he's the same person).
DiscographyWith DJ Jazzy Jeff
- Rock the House (1987)
- He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper (1988)
- And in This Corner... (1989)
- Homebase (1991)
- Code Red (1993)
- Big Willie Style (1997)
- Willennium (1999)
- Born to Reign (2002)
- Lost and Found (2005)
- TBA (2013)
- Action Hero: Has played several of them in his career, including:
- Actor Allusion: "You don't get it, Will. Parents just don't understand" had this on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
- Action Survivor: Dean in Enemy of the State.
- Anti-Hero: Hancock.
- Badass Baritone
- Badassand Child Duo: With his son Jaden.
- Belly Dancer: In Wild Wild West.
- Biopic: Portrayed Muhammad Ali in Ali and portrayed Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happyness. Has a latent wish to portray Barack Obama.
- Black and Nerdy: Those Beast Wars action figures he showed off in an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air? Those were his personal toys.
- Black Viking: Jim West as a U.S. Army Captain in 1869.
- The Casanova: Will in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, the eponymous Hitch and Mike Lowry in Bad Boys.
- Catch Phrase:
- "Aw, hell naw!", usually uttered in a This Is Gonna Suck moment.
- "Day-um" drawn out into two syllables, as an expression of shock.
- The Danza: "Will Smith" in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
- Darker and Edgier: A lot of his more recent roles have been quite somber.
- Discussed Trope: In "Just the Two Of Us":
- Deadpan Snarker: A lot.
- Good Father: In The Pursuit of Happyness as Chris Gardner.
- Also, in real life. Will and family were in Beijing for The Karate Kid, but Trey had to stay in California for school. Will flew out to be with him for all of his football games.
- I Am Not Leonard Nimoy: Admit it, it's much easier to think of his character as "Will Smith". Turned out he was straight out invoking this with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He choose to go by his actual name so that he would never be "associated" with the character's name.
- Jerkass: Hancock.
- Just for Pun: "The new millennium — excuse me, Willennium."
- Ladykiller in Love: Hitch.
- Lyrical Tic: "Haha!" number in Willenium album alone seems to go four digits.
- Mr. Fanservice: Aforementioned shirtless scenes!
- Taken even further in I, Robot, wherein he's shown completely naked and showering at one point. Though his Big Willie isn't shown, viewers still get a clear shot of his butt.
- Nepotism: Has received major criticism over this recently, with his children taking starring roles in films Will happens to be the producer of.
- Nice Guy: Known as one of the nicest, friendliest actors in Hollywood.
- Older Than They Look: He's in his late 40s but he still looks the same as he did in 1997 for the first Men in Black.
- One Head Taller: Than a lot of his co-stars, especially Alfonso Ribeiro.
- Playing Against Type: Deadshot in Suicide Squad.
- Soul Brotha: Agent J in Men In Black, especially the second one.
- Self-Deprecation: Most of his humor is this.
- Shout-Out: He got one from Eminem (responds to a line "All you rappers yellin' bout who you put in a hearse, do me a favor, write one verse without a curse" from Will's "Freakin' it"). Will Smith don't gotta cuss in his raps to sell records / Well, I do / So fuck him and fuck you too! Ironically, Eminem and Dr. Dre appeared on the Wild Wild West soundtrack.
- Star-Making Role: "Now this is the story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down, and I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there; I'll tell you how I became the Prince of a town Called Bel Air."
- The Cover Changes The Meaning: Will turned "Just the Two of Us", Bill Withers' song about a man's love for his woman, into a song about a man's love for his son.
- Theme Naming: The aforementioned Trey is Will's son from his previous marriage - his two children with Jada are named Willow and Jaden.
- Tom Hanks Syndrome: Started off as a comical coming actor now he is becoming more of a drama actor taking on more serious roles.
- Trans Atlantic Equivalent: He was the American equivalent to Slick Rick during his early "Fresh Prince" days, with Will debuting just slightly after Rick did, and having used a similar narrative style in his songs. However, facing declining record sales in 1991, Will would eventually move away from Slick Rick's style, and develop what would eventually become his "Big Willie" style of rapping.
- Uncle Tom Foolery: Started his career like this especially as Will in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Agent J in the first Men In Black and Oscar the fish in Shark Tale the animated movie fit as well.
- Verbal Tic: "Ha-ha!", 'WOOO!", Whaaat whaaat", and "Uuhhh" (that last one was actually a song title on Willenium).
- Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Sometime comedic sci-fi actor, some serious actor, and some sitcom actor, sometime singer/rapper, sometime producer (This Means War).