If we were to put a face on charisma, Will Smith’s would certainly fit the bill. We are talking about a person who has earned the admiration of many not only for his remarkable artistic career, his undoubted talent for the arts, but also for the strength of the principles and concepts that make his unique personality.
Those who have followed the career of Willard Christopher Smith -Will Smith’s official name- know that his beginnings as a professional took place within the framework of rap. Subsequently, he became a television actor, and over the years he established himself as one of the most beloved and famous figures in Hollywood.
His path in the musical field began from an early age. At 12, Smith was singing in the streets about the dramas he faced in his life, and he drew attention for not using insults in his texts. Eventually, people’s interest in him increased, and recognition for his singing skills earned him a Grammy in 1988.
Smith beginnings on television with the leading role in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, where he was able to display his voice and personality until he moved to the big screen and thus, made himself known to a much wider audience.
Throughout his career he has stamped his unique charisma in titles such as Men in Black, Bad Boys, Aladdin, Independence Day, Ali, I am Legend, Enemy of the State, Wild Wild West, Men in Black II, Bad Boys II, Shark Tale, Hitch, The Pursuit of Happiness, I Am Legend, Hancock and I, Robot. With these films, he has confirmed one of his main virtues as an actor: versatility. Thanks to this ability, he has performed with ease in productions that range from comedy to action, and from action to drama or suspense, all with impeccable professionalism and naturalness.
In these five things you surely did not know about Will Smith we will reveal some details and peculiarities that have been shaping this admirable figure of social media, and that will probably make you admire him even more or look at him with different eyes.
1. His life has been influenced by his father
“My father was my hero”
Will Smith’s life has been marked by his father’s influence. Both his personal and professional life are the result of many of his father’s teachings. Will comments in this regard: “my father gave me my name, he gave me his name, and he gave me my greatest advantage in life: my ability to weather adversity. He gave me will.”
One of the most important lessons that Willard (father) passed on to his son was the fact that great goals in life are achieved by taking small steps. Will says that when he was little, his father gave him and his brother the task of building a huge wall on the front of his shop. They both undertook this task without experience and with few practical tools. One day, while they were complaining because the task seemed endless, his father heard them murmur and said: “Don’t be worrying about no wall. Your only concern is one brick.”
Will comments that was a great teaching he never forgot. He further mentions that much of his career success is due to his understanding that goals are achievable, even if they seem impossible. The secret is to go one step at a time, that is, to overcome those small obstacles that prevent success one by one.
Another of the teachings Will received from his father was to do the job perfectly. “Ninety-nine percent is the same as zero” was one of his favorite sayings. In this way, simple tasks such as homework, cleaning the bathroom or getting groceries from the supermarket became important missions that had to be carried out perfectly, otherwise they had to repeat the same task until it was completed successfully. On the other hand, if they disobeyed they would face the punishment that according to Will’s own words: “usually came in the form of a belt to your bare ass.”
In this way, the strong character of Willard Carroll Smith was decisive in the life of his son. He taught him important lessons that enabled him to be successful in life. Even though many of those lessons were learned painfully. Through the fear he instilled, he prepared Will and his other children to face life. This is why Will says: “I worshipped my father, but he also terrified me. He was one of the greatest blessings of my life, and also one of my greatest sources of pain.”
2. Has a great imagination and the ability to invent stories
“I’m a master storyteller”
One of Will Smith’s favorite things is creating stories. His imagination is so developed, he can make up a great story from a simple reality or experience. He explains that this is a skill acquired since he was a child, and that it accompanies him to the present day.
Smith and his mother used to play a game where one had to tell a story or an experience adorned with fantastic elements, and it was the duty of the other person to guess which elements of the story were real and which were imaginary.
On one occasion, Smith attended a camp. When returned, he told his mother that he had seen a huge jazz band with trumpets, violins … among other elements from his imagination. His mother immediately knew it was a joke, but his mother’s neighbor who was listening to the story completely believed Smith’s story. This prolific imagination also caused him that on many occasions his friends did not know how to differentiate when he was serious and when he was joking.
Smith says he continues with this type of joke with his family and friends today. Often when they gather to tell anecdotes, and he recounts how the events of certain stories happened, listeners often look at his wife Jada and ask her: “OK, so what really happened?”
In this way, fantasizing, playing with reality and exaggerating some facts constitutes one of the main characteristics of this actor’s personality. He has the power and ability to create great stories and joke around with close people. This great imagination is also what has helped him and gives a spectacular touch to many of his characters in different movies. He says: “My imagination is my gift.”
3. Play the piano
“The piano was the only instrument that actually liked me”
Smith’s talent for music and acting was not only a result of his youth, but as a child, he learned music and acting. Smith’s parents knew how to play instruments. His father played the guitar, while his mother played the piano. In this way, she instilled in Smith a love for music and especially for this instrument.
Smith used to participate as a pianist in different activities of Resurrection Baptist Church, where his grandmother always encouraging him to perform. He participated in special events such as Easter recitations, nativity reenactments, the Thanksgiving feeding of the poor, holiday talent shows, post-baptism potluck dinners, and on and on. In this way, he lost his stage fright and learned to play and act in front of an audience.
Smith’s knowledge of music was a solid foundation on which to develop as a rapper. Playing the piano was also fundamental to his career as an artist. Smith comments on an anecdote where his music knowledge, and especially playing the piano, were fundamental in his professional career.
It is one of the most famous moments in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the final scene of the pilot, where after an argument with Uncle Phil, goes out of the room and Will sits on the piano bench. The original plan was Smith to sit with his back to the piano, so they could place the camera in his face as he pondered the depth of Uncle Phil’s final words. But he sat down, looked at the piano and began to play his mom’s favorite song, Für Elise by Beethoven. James Avery, stunned, stepped back into the corner. The set fell silent as everyone realized that something special was happening. The point of the scene was to never judge a book by its cover.
In this regard, Smith says: “The producers were so inspired by this improvisational moment that they kept it, and it became the defining thematic premise of the entire series.”
“Comedy is an extension of intelligence. It’s hard to be really funny if you’re not really smart”
Smith is also known for being a highly intelligent person. In fact, sites like EW rank him number 5 among the smartest people in Hollywood, out of a total of 50 celebrities.
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, was Smith’s first acting role. Without prior academic training, the artist had to make an extra effort in order to become a recognized actor. As part of his effort to perform well, the actor memorized all the script. Smith considered himself a perfectionist and did not want to fail in any detail. In this regard, he commented: “It was my first role and I was very, very focused on succeeding, so I learned the entire script and lines from everyone else.”
Another fact that shows the actor’s intelligence is his talent and ability with the Rubik’s cube. Since he was little, he developed great speed to put it together. He currently has a time of only 55 seconds to fully resolve it.
Smith also loves to play chess and learn languages. These are his favorite hobbies. Currently, the language that he best dominates is Spanish, he speaks it fluently, which he has demonstrated in different interviews in Latin America. Smith has also taught the language to his children and his wife, Jada, so they can understand it and communicate with each other.
5. Value of the family
“I wanted my whole family to live together…”
The family in which Smith grew was composed of some good times and others not so much. The actor recalls with nostalgia a journey that he did to Grand Canyon when he was a boy next to his mother, his father, and brothers. However, he also talks about how it suffered the times his father was violent with him and recalls the pain that caused it the day his mother decided to leave the house and separate from his dad. These events marked Smith’s life in such a way that, at present, he gives great value to the family and the relationship with his children.
Between 1992 and 1995, Smith was married to the actress and businesswoman Sheree Zampino, with whom he had his first son, Trey Smith. After the separation, the actor found the love of his life in the actress Jade Pinkett. They married in 1997 when Smith’s career was in full ascent. At this time, he began to materialize his dream of possessing a united family. With her, he had its children, Jaden Christopher Syre Smith, and Willow Camille Reign Smith. At present, thanks to social networks, Will and his wife are part of the list of favorite couples of Hollywood and, so far, also are one of the couples who have remained together for longer.
In 2001 Will Smith published the children’s book Just the Two of Us, dedicated to his parents and first son Trey. This book was inspired by the song of the same name, from his first solo studio album, Big Willie Style (1997). It is a tribute to his parents and his little one. Its vibrant and touching lyrics capture the true beauty and intensity of a father’s love as his son grows. Specifically, it reflects three fundamental stages of life and the relationship between a son and his father. It also addresses values such as dignity, integrity, and honor.
Smith also recognized that his middle child competes a lot with him. In an interview they both gave, Jaden said that his father knows 100% about him, no matter what he does or does not do. Together, Will and his son Jaden shot the hit The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), one of the most important roles in his filmography, and later After Earth (2013). In both films, they were father and son. Smith said projects with that component appeal to him in particular.
One of the fundamental ideas that Smith handles in order to keep his family together is regarding the raising of his children. For him, punishing children often forces them to do the will of their parents and prevents them from developing according to their own ideas and opinions. In this regard, he comments: “The way that we deal with our kids is, they are responsible for their lives. Our concept is, as young as possible, give them as much control over their lives as possible and the concept of punishment, our experience has been — it has a little too much of a negative quality.”
So to speak, beyond a famous Hollywood figure hides a man of principle and family. A man who takes full responsibility for his life. A man of confidence who takes care of his family and loved ones.
This man is Will Smith.
- Cassidy, M. (2020, Jan 19). 20 Facts That Reveal Who The REAL Will Smith Is. Retrieved from The Things: https://www.thethings.com/20-facts-that-reveal-who-the-real-will-smith-is/
- Navalka, V. (2021, Mar 21). DYK Will Smith Was Placed 5th In The ’50 Smartest People In Hollywood’ List? Retrieved from Republic Word: https://www.republicworld.com/entertainment-news/hollywood-news/dyk-will-smith-was-placed-5th-in-the-50-smartest-people-in-hollywood-list.html
- Smith, S. (2007, Nov 28). The 50 Smartest People in Hollywood. Retrieved from EW: https://ew.com/article/2007/11/28/smart-list-intr/
- Smith, W. a. (2021). Will. New York: Penguin Press.