Will Smith covered Esquire Magazine for his new interview, and he gave an honest account of his career failures, his family, and his views on hot-button political topics. Read some choice quotes below, and click HERE to read the full interview.
On Guns and Racism
“The change that has to happen is about to be so brutal and so painful. It’s not unlike the sixties. I think there’s actually a deeper issue at play that America is going to have to face. What we’re really talking about in this issue is people walking around the street with guns that can make a decision whether or not they’re going to kill someone, right? And that’s even more difficult, because there’s really no way back from that. This is a gun culture. And it’s painful for me, because I cannot figure out how to be helpful. I’ve always been telling my sons, We have to separate fault from responsibility—whose fault it is that black men are in this situation, whose fault it is doesn’t matter. It’s our responsibility to make it go right. It’s our responsibility. It’s a lot of people’s fault, systemic racism, and it’s a lot of people’s fault that the black community is in the situation that we’re in, but it’s our responsibility to clean up the mess.”
On The Pinnacle of his Career
“I had dinner with Nelson Mandela and Muhammad Ali. I would say that was probably the high point of my career.That was the pinnacle. Nelson Mandela was on my left, and Muhammad Ali was on my right. And so I got fully aware that I meant absolutely nothing in this world.”
On The Most Painful Failure of His Career –After Earth
“That was a valuable lesson for me a few years ago with After Earth. That was the most painful failure in my career.
Wild Wild West was less painful than After Earth because my son was involved in After Earth and I led him into it“
“I was a guy who, when I was fifteen my girlfriend cheated on me, and I decided that if I was number one, no woman would ever cheat on me. All I have to do is make sure that no one’s ever better than me and I’ll have the love that my heart yearns for.
After Earth comes out, I get the box-office numbers on Monday and I was devastated for about twenty-four minutes, and then my phone rang and I found out my father had cancer. That put it in perspective—viciously. And I went right downstairs and got on the treadmill. And I was on the treadmill for about ninety minutes. And that Mondaystarted the new phase of my life, a new concept: Only love is going to fill that hole. You can’t win enough, you can’t have enough money, you can’t succeed enough. There is not enough. The only thing that will ever satiate that existential thirst is love. And I just remember that day I made the shift from wanting to be a winner to wanting to have the most powerful, deep, and beautiful relationships I could possibly have.
On Jaden Smith
“You never lose the mentality. It’s such a strange thing. Jaden, my sixteen-year-old, he has one pair of shoes.
He has three pair of pants and he has five shirts”
“He has refused to be a slave to money. I so respect that.”