15 Things You Didn’t Know about Will Smith
Good evening Aluxers! We’re glad to have you here again as we talk about another celebrity.
This time, we are going to explore the 15 Things You Didn’t Know about Will Smith!
Born as William Carroll Will Smith Jr. on September 25, 1968, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he is the son of Caroline, a Philadelphia school board administrator, and Willard Carroll Smith, Sr., a refrigeration engineer.
He spent most of his life in West Philadelphia’s Wynnefield neighborhood where he attended Catholic school as well as the prestigious Overbrook High School.
Smith started his career as a hip-hop artist known as The Fresh Prince, long before he became of the most bankable actors in the world.
After he made his debut as an MC with modest fame, his popularity increased once he starred in the television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, about his life.
When the show ended, he transitioned from television to film starring in many blockbusters.
He is the only actor to have eight consecutive films gross over $100 million in the domestic box office, 11 consecutive films gross over $150 million as well as eight consecutive films which opened at number one spot in the domestic box office tally.
Because of this, he was ranked by Forbes magazine as the most bankable star worldwide.
Today he is one of the most powerful actors in Hollywood having won many nominations such as five Golden Globe Awards and two Academy Awards, and winning four Grammy Awards.
Let’s just start the 15 Things You Didn’t Know about Will Smith!
Number 1: He Made his Break into Music industry at 16 Years Old
Will Smith started his career as a part of the hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince after he met Jeffery DJ Jazzy Jeff Townes one night while he was performing at a house party just a couple of streets away from Smith.
Call it faith or not, but in the same night Townes was missing his hype man and Smith decided to fill in.
Soon after they joined forces and together with another friend they released the first single, Girls Ain’t Nothing but Trouble, under the Philadelphia-based Word Up Records.
The single became a hit just a month after Smith graduated from high school.
Number 2: He is Really Good at Math
With an IQ of 115, Will Smith is rumored to have a perfect SAT score, although he will only admit to the numbers being ‘pretty high’.
In an interview, he declared that if he wasn’t an actor, he’d be a computer engineer because his favorite subject at school was math.
“If I weren’t a musician/actor, I’d be a computer engineer. I was always good at math. I probably would have been the guy who invented the remote control if I’d been around then,” he said.
Will Smith is one of the few celebrities, like Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, to have an IQ above 110, which is ranked from superior intelligence to genius or near genius.
Number 3: He Can Solve a Rubik’s Cube in Under a Minute
The famous actor has a lot of secret talents that not many people know about, and we bet you probably didn’t know about this incredible talent.
He is one of the few people who can solve a Rubik’s cube in under a minute. Yes, he has mastered the difficult task of solving cub in a bit under a minute.
Impressive, right? The event displayed his talent on live television as well. If you’ve seen The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and again The Pursuit of Happiness, you’ve noticed him solving a Rubik’s cube.
It wasn’t any trick involved, Smith really solved the cube!
Number 4: Smith is The First Hip-Hop Artist Nominated for an Academy Award
Upon the success of Bad Boys and Men in Black, he started his solo career with the release of Men in Black, the theme song from the film of the same name.
His solo album, Big Willie Style, went nine times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Then he played heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali in the biographical sports drama film, Ali. The film didn’t do so well at the box office, but critics love it.
He gave such an incredible performance and received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor and the Golden Globe for Best Actor- Motion Picture.
Number 5: By the age of 20 he became a millionaire
After he hit big with the song “Girls Ain’t Nothing but Trouble”, they attracted the attention of Jive Records and Russell Simmons who signed them to the label.
Their success grew bigger with the release of their first studio album, Rock the House. They received their first Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance for “Parents Just Don’t Understand”, although “Summertime” was their most successful single.
By the time he turned 20 he made his first million dollars. Since then his net worth only grew as he transitioned into acting and taking roles in blockbusters like Men in Black and Bad Boys.
Today he has some money in the bank, approx. $300 million for which he received $20 million for Men in Black 3, Suicide Squad, Hancock, and The Pursuit of Happiness.
According to Internet Movie Database, his biggest payday was for I, Robot, approx. $28 million.
Number 6: He Had problems with the IRS
When he started as a musician, he experienced a lot of success and became financially independent in his early 20s.
But the lack of experience made things worse for him as he started to spend money freely.
During that period, he underpaid his taxes and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assessed a $2.8 million tax debt against him and even took many of his assets.
In order to pay back the IRS, he agreed to take on the lead role on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. During the first three seasons of the TV show, he had to give over 70 percent of his paycheck to the IRS.
Number 7: He Learned to be an Actor on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
After his trouble with the law, he took the role in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to pay back his debts. With a background in music he had no idea how to be an actor and had no idea how to act.
Smith had to learn fast and because of his background as a performer, he managed to get the hang of it pretty fast.
In order to remember his lines, because he had difficulties there, he had to memorize the entire script to help him remember his own.
“Then I’d be lipping everybody’s lines while they were talking.”
Today, when he looks back at that time, just like many of us do sometimes, he is totally embarrassed.
Number 8: The Media Used to Call Him Mr. July
Thanks to his energetic charisma, funny, laid-back attitude and the outgoing personality he has, Smith is a fan favorite among viewers.
Which is why his films received critical praise and helped his career to get bigger and bigger.
His films used to hit the big screens in July because this month is perfect to release big studio blockbusters.
For years he released blockbuster after blockbuster, including Independence Day, Bad Boys, Men in Black, MIIB, Bad Boys 2, I, Robot and Hancock. One of the reasons why press used to call him Mr. July.
Number 9: “Aw, hell no” is his catchphrase
Not sure if you’ve noticed this, but Will Smith tries to use this catchphrase in each one of his movies.
Just like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “I’ll Be Back”, Will Smith’s “Aw, hell no” is an iconic catchphrase. He used it for the first time in Independence Day when he referred to aliens.
He has also used the catchphrase in Seven Pounds, all Men In Black movies, Bad Boys I and II, I, Robot, Suicide Squad, just to name a few.
One other trademark for him is that often plays a police officer or an agent in his movies.
Number 10: To Prepare for his role in Suicide Squad Smith Shaved his Head
In 2017 he portrayed Deadshot in the supervillain team-up action film Suicide Squad. To be able to make the film, he turned down Independence Day: Resurgence.
The film had a strong debut that set new box office records, grossing over $745 billion worldwide, becoming the tenth-highest-grossing film of 2016.
He had to rise to the standards of Deadshot and to prepare for the role, Smith chose to shave his head. Plus he spent some time training with Navy S.E.A.Ls and Army Rangers. While there, he practiced firing a Glock 9mm handgun and an AR-15 rifle.
Fun fact: Will Smith and Margot Robbie starred together in Focus, way before Suicide Squad.
Number 11: His First Major Film Role came at 25 Years Old
At 25 years old, people already knew him thanks to his music and his work in television. But he wanted more and moved from television to the big screen.
Amongst his first major roles were in Six Degrees of Separation, and Bad Boys.
Bad Boys became a commercial success, grossing over $140 million worldwide, but had mixed reviews.
But that didn’t stop him moving forward with his career. He later starred in Independence Day, a critical success which became the second highest-grossing film in history at that time.
A year later he starred alongside Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black, which established him as a prime box office draw.
From there it is all history.
Number 12: He Wrote a Children’s Book Titled “Just the Two of Us”
The hip-hop artist wrote a children’s book about fatherhood titled Just the Two of Us. He took his inspiration from the song of the same name, from his debut solo studio album, Big Willie Style.
The book is his tribute to his parents and to his little boy, Trey Smith, whom he had with his first wife, Sheree Zampino in 1992.
His vibrant touching lyrics and Kadir Nelson’s paintings capture the true beauty and intensity of the father’s love as his child grows up.
“Just the two of us
Building castles in the sky
Just the two of us,
You and I.”
Number 13: He Didn’t Go to College
Growing up, his parents supported him in his dream to become a famous singer. However, if he failed, he had to come back to college. But he didn’t have that problem.
Some publications reported that he turned down a scholarship from MIT, but according to Smith himself, he never planned to go to college nor applied to college.
“I had pretty high SAT scores and they needed black kids, so I probably could have gotten in. But I had no intention of going to college.”
Number 14: He Has an Impressive Car Collection
For such a big star as Will Smith nothing is impossible and for such a car fanatic like him is understandable why he has an impressive car collection. His choice model is SUV and owns a few of them.
He is the proud owner of a Mercedes GL450 SUV, with Cruise control and a strong acceleration from V8 engine included.
The star also owns a Cadillac Escalade with a stiff, fully boxed frame, high-quality interiors and a coil-spring front suspension for a smoother ride.
In his car collection, you can find a classic 1965 Ford Mustang convertible in red shiny color.
Number 15: Smith and His Wife Jada Pinkett Smith own Overbrook Entertainment
Together with his wife, the actress Jada Pinkett Smith, they own the entertainment company called Overbrook Entertainment.
As you can see the two aren’t just an ordinary couple, they are also business partners.
The production company is responsible for producing several of Will’s films like I, Robot, The Pursuit of Happyness, Seven Pounds, and The Karate Kid. The company is named after Smith’s neighborhood he grew up in.
Smith comes from the Overbrook part of town, a part of Philadelphia that produced a lot of talented people. Famous people who also went there are basketball players Wilt Chamberlain, and Walt Hazzard, and musicians The Dovells, and Dee Dee Sharp.
Because you stayed until the end, here is a bonus fact for you: Will Smith is scared of heights and can’t really swim.
Since he was 13 years old, he has been at his adult height of 6’ 2”, so it was kind of hard for him to learn how to swim.