Willard Carroll "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 & 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 series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, a relatively succesful Sitcom that he only signed onto because most of his possessions were taken by the IRS as punishment for tax evasion. He moved on into what has become a very successful acting career, including two Academy Award nominations.
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.
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 two have failed to make over their budgets, the Muhammad Ali biopic Ali, which was still a critical if not financial success and the drama Concussion - Smith is that much of a box office draw. He's also one of the best-paid actors, pulling salaries estimated at $20 million per movie.
He is also the founder of Overbrook Entertainment where he produces the films from that company whether or not he actually stars in the films.
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).
Also, tropes that specifically pertain to his years with DJ Jazzy Jeff should be put on their own page.
- Where The Day Takes You (1992)
- Made in America (1993)
- Six Degrees of Separation (1993)
- Bad Boys (1995)
- Independence Day (1996)
- Men in Black
- Enemy of the State (1998)
- Wild Wild West (1999)
- The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000)
- Ali (2001)
- Bad Boys II (2003)
- I, Robot (2004)
- Shark Tale (2004) - Voice actor.
- Hitch (2005)
- The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
- I Am Legend (2007)
- Hancock (2008)
- Seven Pounds (2008)
- After Earth (2013)
- Focus (2015)
- Concussion (2015)
- Collateral Beauty (2016)
- DC Extended Universe as Floyd Lawton/Deadshot
- Suicide Squad (2016)
- Suicide Squad sequel (2019)
- Bright (2017)
- Aladdin (2019)
- Bad Boys 3 (TBA)
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)
- Action Hero: Has played several of them in his career, including:
- Action Survivor: Dean in Enemy of the State.
- Actually Pretty Funny: According to Will, Jaden convinced him and the family into coming to London in order to celebrate Jaden's 18th birthday because Jaden was promoting a show. When the family arrived in a restaurant, Jaden asked for a tequila and when Will told him that he couldn't drink that because he was underage, Jaden told him that that the legal drinking age is 18 in England
- Anti-Hero: Hancock.
- Badass and Child Duo: With his son Jaden.
- Badass Baritone: He has a very deep and bass voice even when he's not singing.
- Belly Dancer: In Wild Wild West.
- Biopic: Portrayed Muhammad Ali in Ali, Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happyness, and Dr. Bennet Omalu in Concussion. 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. It is also presented on the show that Will has the cover from the first issue of Static that can be seen framed and hung inside off his pool house.
- 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.
- "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 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.
- Darker and Edgier: A lot of his more recent roles have been quite somber.
- Discussed Trope: In "Just the Two Of Us":
- He discusses breaking up with Trey's mom. (They're still friends).
- He says that Trey is him in miniature.
- Will mentions having to learn how a CD ROM drive works.
- He tells Trey not to displace his breakup grief on his next girlfriend.
- Will says that although his death will be sad, it's not the end of Trey's world.
- Deadpan Snarker: A common humorous trait for his characters.
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Not surprising given that he was a rapper before he was an actor, he did the themes for a number of his movies. "Men in Black", "Wild Wild West", and "Switch" (from Hitch) all became radio hits.
- Good Parents: 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.
- Will himself had them in real life, contrary to the popular belief that he had a Disappeared Dad. His father and mother were both very involved in his life and raised him to be the successful man he is today, along with his siblings.
- Happily Married: His first marriage only lasted a few years but his second, to Jada Pinkett Smith, has endured since 1997.
- 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, supposedly on the advice of Alfonso Ribeiro (who will be Carlton for the rest of his life).
- It Will Never Catch On: Roughly a year after splitting from DJ Jazzy Jeff, Will approached Jive Records with the "Men In Black" song. The executives at Jive rejected it, saying it wouldn't be a hit. Two years later, after the success of the movie and the song, Jive, who had tried to sue both Will and Jeff for allegedly breaching their contract after their split, was forced to include both "Men In Black" and "Just Crusin'" on their "Greatest Hits" compilation as a part of a settlement.
- Jerkass: Hancock.
- Just for Pun: "The new millennium — excuse me, Willennium."
- Ladykiller in Love: Hitch.
- Location Song: "Miami", a party song.
- 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, with his children taking starring roles in films Will happens to be the producer of, especially by favouring his son Jaden in After Earth. In this review, he is called out for that.
- 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.
- Race Lift: James West in Wild Wild West and Deadshot in Suicide Squad. Both characters were white originally.
- Soul Brotha: Agent J in Men in Black, especially the second one.
- Self-Deprecation: Most of his humor is this.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: A lot of Will's characters including Agent Jay, Mike Lowry (particularly the purple suit scene in Bad Boys 2), James West, and Hitch.
- 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.
- Theme Naming: The aforementioned Trey is Will's son from his previous marriage - his two children with Jada are named Willow and Jaden.
- Transatlantic 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 Tomfoolery: 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).