Will Smith: Success comes from crossroads


After years of rolling around in Hollywood, Will Smith became one of the most successful black actors of all time with a successful endorsement of 17 films that grossed over $100 million. Not only that, many people were also surprised to learn that acting was originally just a crossroads on his very successful career path at that time – music. On the occasion of his birthday (September 25), let’s look back at the life and career of this talented star with ELLE Man!


Will Smith’s full name is Willard Carroll Smith Jr., he was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in a small middle-class family. Although he does not have much experience in the art industry, his family loves music. This is also the reason why from a young age, Will Smith expressed a desire to perform and compose with a variety of instruments. At the age of 11, he first learned about hip hop culture and immediately fell in love with rap music. After graduating from high school, the actor refused a scholarship to the prestigious MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and began pursuing the path of becoming a professional rapper.

actor Will Smith
Actor Willl Smith in his youth. Photo: Worldation

At the age of 16, he first met DJ Jeff Townes, the two quickly found a common voice in music and formed the group DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince. With certain success coming from the debut product  Girls Ain’t Nothing but Trouble , the duo immediately caught the eye of Russell Simmons – one of the production “bosses” in the music industry. According to him, Will Smith has a playful way of using words and melodies – a stark contrast to the noisy and “terrorist” hip hop style at that time. This novelty is also the reason why the duo was twice honored in the category of  Best Rap Performance  at the prestigious Grammy Awards in 1989 and 1992.

actor Will Smith
DJ duo Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince first received the prestigious Grammy Award in 1989. At that time, Will Smith was only 21 years old. Photo: Worldation

It is often said that “with great talent, many defects”, and although he did not get caught up in terrible troubles, Will Smith was still tempted by the rich pleasures of success that came a little too soon. In late 1989, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) accused him of tax evasion of $2.8 million. This is a very difficult time for him when new music products are continuously turned away by the audience. Meanwhile, the male singer’s career suddenly turned in a new direction: becoming an actor for the long-running TV series  The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air . In fact, Will Smith never intended to become an actor. However, due to financial difficulties, the male star reluctantly nodded to manage the debts.

actor Will Smith
Not only was it a commercial success, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air also helped Will Smith regain the love of the audience;
at the same time as a premise to create opportunities for the actor to access works on the big screen. Photo: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air ©

This work, which lasted from 1990 to 1996, quickly received a warm response from the audience. This not only helps Will Smith pay off his debts, but also helps the public to have a new view of him. From here, his life turned to a new page. Success after success – many years later, Will Smith continues to become the name that guarantees the box office success of many famous movies such as Made in America, Six Degrees of Separation,  Bad Boys … Theo In the professional world, he possesses a natural acting style that is easy to get into people’s hearts even without going through formal training schools. In 1997, he first transformed into agent J in the movie  Men in Black  – one of the most iconic works in Hollywood.

actor Will Smith
The Boys, Independence Day and Men in Black have contributed significantly in spreading the name Will Smith around the world. Photo: Drivepedia

The name Will Smith quickly flashed, making him one of the most successful actors here after the work brought in half a billion dollars after only half a year of release. This is also the premise for him to try his hand at deeper and more complex roles in  Ali  and  The Pursuit of Happyness  – works that have earned him a prestigious Oscar nomination.

actor Will Smith
Some other outstanding works of actor Will Smith. Photo: Synthesis

More than 10 years later, Will Smith – now a real actor – continues to diligently participate in various blockbuster films. And just like people often say “the older the ginger, the spicier it is”, we see that the “Fresh Prince” boy has become more and more mature with each role. It is still a somewhat “jumpy” acting style that helps bring laughter to everyone, but there is a warm heart of a mature, sobbing and experienced middle-aged man.

actor Will Smith
Will Smith is happy with his wife Jada Pinkett and children Trey Smith Jaden Smith and Willow Smith – all famous singers and actors. Photo: Drivepedia

At the present time, perhaps, hardly anyone can match the actor in terms of a full life. Talking about his personal life, although he has also experienced breakdowns, Will Smith has now found a home for himself with his wife and children who are both active in the entertainment industry. For him, family is always a consolation, a place he longs to return to after a long day of working in a lavish, busy Hollywood. We wish the actor continued success and happiness in the future. And don’t forget that he will soon reunite with the audience at the end of 2019 with two other blockbusters,  Gemini Man  and  Spies in Disguise .

Happy Birthday, Will Smith!


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