Will Smith made a smooth transition from a musical career to acting with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The sitcom made Smith a favorite and audiences cherished his boy away-from-Philly attitude in the sitcom. But Smith, from the beginning of his career, craved excellence. His defiance to not settle for the mediocre, as he revealed later on in his memoir, stemmed from his idolization of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Smith’s global stardom is sometimes compared to that of Schwarzenegger. But the seven times Mr. Olympia actually helped Smith to reach the stardom he prides himself in today.
How Arnold Schwarzenegger polished Will Smith to become a global star?
Will Smith is often labeled as a phenomenon rather than a performer because of the connection he managed to make with his audience. Somewhat akin to that of a politician who makes people feel like he is one of them. This was no coincidence. Smith’s memoir, titled Will, recalled some advice Arnold Schwarzenegger gave him in 1996. Finding himself in the presence of the iconic movie starring Planet Hollywood, he asked how to become the face of Hollywood. The Terminator answered as reported by Fandom Wire, “You are not a movie star if your movies are only successful in America.”
Schwarzenegger further added, “Think of yourself as a politician running for the Biggest Movie Star in the World.” While the question was ordinary, the way Smith inhibited it to achieve global stardom is nothing short of extraordinary. The actor made history early on in his career with Independence Day.
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This was followed by back-to-back blockbusters until Smith was named the reigning king of Hollywood in the 90s.”You have to travel the globe, shake every hand, kiss every baby. Think of yourself as a politician running for the Biggest Movie Star in the World,” and he did just that. In Tom Cruise style.
Tom Cruise leads the way
There is no dearth of comparisons between Will Smith and Tom Cruise. However, the Men In Black actor actually used him as an example to motivate himself. After listening to Schwarzenegger’s advice, the Independence Day actor was not willing to leave any stone unturned. Apart from giving his best in movies, Smith traveled all around the globe and did “two hours more” than Tom Cruise did in every country.
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Who do you think is the bigger movie star? Let us know in the comments below.