Will Smith is infallibly one of the most successful performers we have; playing multiple roles, switching characters, yet retaining that "Will Smith" demeanor we've all come to love. How he has gained dominion over mainstream movies and has made his name resonate for over twenty-five years is record-breaking.
You may have known a lot about his complicated marriage with Jada Pinkett or how the latest Oscars played out for him; however, in this piece, we’ll be talking about some flip sides you may not have known about the Hollywood icon, Will Smith.
Trey Smith, His First Son, Felt Betrayed and Abandoned by Him
Since he does not pursue media attention like his fame-seeking half-siblings Jaden and Willow, Will Smith's first son tends to stay out of the spotlight.
Trey Smith was the result of his father's failed marriage to Sheree Zampino, whose relationship overlapped with the actor's current one.
Jada admitted to dating Will before Sheree's divorce went through in May 2018.
Have You Ever Wondered Why Will Doesn't Swear in His Music?
Remember when rapper Eminem called out Will in his 2000 hit, "The Real Slim Shady", for his lyrical content, which he thought was too clear of profanity? Well, Will had his reasons for stirring clear of profanity.
"I started writing my raps when I was about 12," Smith explained on The Graham Norton Show. According to Will, the day his grandmother got hold of his song notepad and snippet, she saw all the curse words, four-letter words, and everything in there, but surprisingly, she didn't yell out at him. Instead, his granny wrote down a short note and attached it to his book.
“Dear Willard, truly intelligent people do not have to use words like this to express themselves. Please show the world that you're as smart as we think you are." And yes, for Will, this was all he needed to keep it all clean and still gain widespread airplay.
Will and His Grammy-led Boycott
Will look flamboyant nowadays, but he wasn't like that a few years ago. Even though he did not receive recognition then, he led a boycott of the 31st Grammy Awards in 1989, sending a powerful message to the music industry.
"We don't have a problem with the Grammy as an award or Grammys as an institution. We just have a problem with the 1989 design of the awards show," Smith spoke. And of course, even though the boys won the Grammy for Best Rap Performance but they never accepted their award in person.
Gaining His Ground as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
After gaining popularity and wealth over the successes of some of his hits, Will spent most of the money on cards and designer clothes and was soon broke as hell. Unfortunately, with his decline in paying his taxes, the IRS seized his luxuries and soon sent him poor quickly as he had turned wealthy.
Somehow, Will’s attendance at The Arsenio Hall Show, where he met Benny Medina, turned his fortune around and birthed ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’.
Will Smith Says ‘NO’ to Playing Superman
With the world asking to see more black actors in lead roles, playing Superman would have been such a huge hit for Will, but he declined, telling MTV News in 2018, "The last Superman I got offered, Superman Returns starring Brandon Routh, the script came, and I was like, there is no way I'm playing Superman. You can't be messing up white people's heroes in Hollywood!"
Instead of Superman Returns, he starred in Hancock, another superhero movie.
Race Plays a Part in the Movies he Decides to Star in
In a podcast, ‘On One with Angela Rye’, Will said he intentionally didn't play roles meant for blacks because he needed to be as high and fly as high as he could fly so those young Black kids would see, and all kids could see that type of flying as not something that only white movie stars could do.
But it seems the 2020 incident of George Floyd changed things as he starred in ‘Emancipation’, a movie about slavery.
"The reason I chose 'Emancipation' now is more than ever. We have to understand the reality of where we came from,” He commented.
Will Sets Trends, Others Follow
For his 1997 ‘Getting Jiggy with It’, the word jiggy became a widely used slang in the entire world. According to Orlando Sentinel, the word which meant 'wonderful and exciting’ was included in the Random House Webster's College Dictionary in 2000.
"He didn't make it up, but he popularized it," Random House editor Carol Braham said.
Sylvia Silverstone is a passionate writer who loves to share her knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics, including beauty, life hacks, entertainment, health, news, and money. With a keen eye for detail and a talent for storytelling, Sylvia's engaging writing style keeps readers coming back for more.