Will Smith isn’t getting older, he’s just getting better. It may have been 22 years since he starred on “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and longer than that since he started his rap career, but Big Will, 43, has been doing big things ever since. He is the highest-earning male movie star in Hollywood over his career and along the way he’s set an example by living the principles of hard work, preparation and dedication that have made him a success. He and wife Jada Pinkett Smith have been married for 14 years and their two kids, 13-year-old Jaden and 11-year-old Willow, are following their parents into the family business. Smith has been offscreen for a while taking a rare break, but heads back into theaters in the latest installment of the “Men in Black” franchise. “Men In Black 3” opens on Friday in 3D. Here are five things we love about Will Smith.
Smith’s career may be so successful because of the loyalty he’s shown to the people he came up with. His manager, James Lassister, has managed him his entire career and several other staffers and executives at his production company, Overbrook Entertainment, have been with him since the beginning. He’s been married to the same woman for almost 15 years and aside from the recent rumors surrounding their marriage, The Smiths have been one of Hollywood’s most solid couples.
You might see a few celebrities on the red carpet with their kids if it’s the Teen Choice Awards or some other child-friendly event, but the Smiths have always brought their kids to their red-carpet events. When they shot “The Karate Kid” with Jaden as its star, the entire family traveled to Beijing, China and stayed there until the project was finished. The Smiths do things as a family unit, even with Will’s oldest son, Trey, who has little interest in the entertainment business. You’ve seen Will cheering Trey on at his football games even when he was busy making movies. Will’s ex-wife Sheree has attended events with the entire family and Jada often refers to Trey as her “bonus son.” Will’s mother, father, brother, sister and nephew and Jada’s brother and mother are all active parts of their extended family, unlike many celebs whose fame and money drive a wedge between them and the rest of their family.
Will has no problem declaring his love and respect for his wife and the two have been very open about the honesty they expect from the other in their relationship. He’s said that he recognizes that helping Jada to be the best she can be ultimately helps the entire family and that his job is to make that happen. Despite the demands of his career, the Smiths apparently find ways to keep their relationship happy and sexy, as evidenced by their continuing commitment to each other. It’s not easy to keep a relationship together in Hollywood, especially when couples are constantly breaking up all around you. But Will has always set an example of how to treat and love your wife while respecting her independence and supporting her own goals and ambitions.
SENSE OF HUMOR
Since the very beginning, Will has been an approachable, affable guy who can seemingly get along with anyone. If you’ve met him, you know that he’s not one of the celebrities that just turns it on for the cameras and turns it off for the public –he’s a genuinely personable guy. Despite his enormous fame and fortune he remains humble and down to earth and without a huge entourage. Will would have made a great politician as his ability to connect with people is one any politician would envy. Will’s ability to see the joke in anything and to laugh at himself certainly helps him in situations like the one recently when a Ukrainian reporter tried to kiss him on the lips. Yes, he lightly backhanded the guy but laughed it off 5 seconds later when he moved on to the next interview.
Smith considers one thing as his key to success – his work ethic. Will says that he knows there are people more talented than he is, but there are very few people who can outwork him. When he got first started on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” he memorized not just his lines but the lines of the entire script so that he would be completely prepared. (If you watch early shows, you can see his mouth moving with the lines others were saying.) Smith says determination, dedication and discipline made him successful but he doesn’t brag about it. You rarely see him sporting a super-expensive watch, excessive jewelry or any obvious signs of wealth (well, not anymore, excess caught up to him when he blew through millions early on in his rap career) nor does he have the arrogance or sense of entitlement that a lot of lesser celebrities do. Smith just makes it happen without a lot of fanfare and he’s been doing it that way for two decades. That’s why we still love him.