I saw violence in my childhood, I wanted different things for my kids, says Will Smith at HTLS 2018
Will Smith spoke about his childhood, the films that changed him, and how a Bollywood film -- maybe with Aishwarya Rai -- is still on his bucket list. In conversation with Farhan Akhtar at the 16th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, the Hollywood star opened up about his childhood and how it was far from perfect.
“My childhood wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be. There was violence as I grew up. So, I wanted certain things for my kids. The family me and my wife have created is the coming together of a 40-year old dream. I always wanted to get married and have a happy family,” Smith said. Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith have three children together – sons Jaden and Trey, and daughter Willow.
He also spoke about Karate Kid, a film that he co-produced and had son Jaden in the lead. “The year Karate Kid released, I felt that I had achieved everything in terms of my family life. Trying to cast a child can be very difficult. We had looked for months; Jaden was five then. He came to me and said one day, ‘Daddy I can do that’. When I asked what made him think he can do the role, he said, ‘I look just like you daddy’.”
Talking about Pursuit of Happyness that starred him with Jaden, Smith said, “Jaden had to audition nine times before the role was given to him by the director. There is a scene where we sleep on the bathroom floor because we had no place to go. It was a devastating moment for me to do that scene with him. I think he did a great job.” Smith was nominated for an Oscar in the best actor category for the film.
Another film that changed him forever was Ali, in which he played boxing legend Muhammad Ali. “Playing Ali was the most formative time in my career; it changed me forever. Anytime you go that far into a character, there is a piece that stays with you. Nothing for Ali was ever above people and love. In our lives we put money and our products above people. Ali taught as that if you care for people you will have everything.”