Belfast Telegraph

Will Smith admits he became ‘precious’ after he found fame as a film star

The actor has starred in blockbusters such as Men In Black and Independence Day.

Will Smith (Tamas Kovacs/AP)
Will Smith (Tamas Kovacs/AP)

By Laura Harding, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent, in Budapest

Will Smith has admitted he became “precious” and “tight” after he found success as a movie star, and said he has been working to recapture the “recklessness” he felt when he was younger.

The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air star, 51 added he is attempting to experiment in the way he did when he was in his 20s.

He told a Budapest press conference: “My younger self was naive in a way that he used his power; there is definitely a power that can be derived from not knowing.

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Will Smith performing at the Brits in 2000 (Fiona Hanson/PA)

“When I was 23 I had no idea the size of dreams and what I wanted to do and that naivete created a sort of wonderful recklessness, and in the last couple of years I’ve been trying to recapture some of that freedom and that wildness of my younger self.

“For my birthday last year I bungee-jumped out of a helicopter over the Grand Canyon. Now that was probably too far, but I had grown out of taking those kinds of chances.

“I was really trying to break the bonds and explore and experiment in the way I did in my 20s.”

He added: “As I started to be successful I got really precious, I started getting tight and the spectrum of what I was willing to do, what Will Smith could do, was so small.

“I was really looking for my younger self to help break the bonds that my success in the world of cinema has shackled me slightly.”

Smith’s latest film, Gemini Man, sees him play a hitman who must battle a cloned version of his younger self.

His other character has been entirely digitally rendered, based on his appearance in the 1995 Bad Boys, and Smith said the techniques pioneered by Ang Lee with the film, will open up new possibilities in cinema.

He said: “What is really beautiful with the technology is its not de-aging, they didn’t use my face and take the lines out and stretch it. It’s a 100% digital human, the first ever, so now there is a 23-year-old digital version of myself that I can make movies with, but the possibilities are endless.

“If the audience goes in and comes out believing the Junior character as an actual human being, it opens up magnificent possibilities.

“If the technology continues there is a Will Smith/Marlon Brando movie that could be made, it opens up the artistic possibilities.

“If you believe it, the possibilities are huge.”

In the meantime, he said he has deliberately taken roles in action films in recent years because he wants to make the most of it while his body is still capable.

He said: “I’m 51 and these are probably the last couple of action movies before my knees decide they are not going to do it anymore.

“I’ve definitely made the conscious choice that I want to get those super physical roles. I can feel my body is about to not do it as easily anymore so I’ve made the decision to have some fun and get those physical roles out of the way.”

Gemini Man is released in UK cinemas on October 11.

PA

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