Hollywood A-Lister Will Smith became a household name with his sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel Air, but does anyone know why and in what circumstances he chose to do that show? Well, we might have an answer for you. The Concussion star recently told the backstory of how he became part of the iconic sitcom on his newly formed YouTube channel.
While the actor gained riches and more fame following the debut of the show, Smith revealed that the opportunity didn’t arise until after he had found himself in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
In the video, Smith said, “Me and [Jazzy] Jeff had come out with a smash hit. We made a bunch of money, we won a Grammy, the album was triple platinum. I had motorcycles and cars. I called the Gucci store in Atlanta, and I was like, ‘Hey, will y’all close it down if I bring my friends?’ And I’m smiling but that’s stupid. We released our next album and it was, like, a flop”.
Smith added, “It was a tragedy, it went, like, double plastic. I had spent all my money and I didn’t forget but I didn’t pay the IRS. In my mind, I wasn’t trying to avoid taxes, I was just like ‘Ah, damn, they need their money. The IRS took all that stuff, so I was like, broke, broke, broke. Being famous and broke is a s*** combination because you’re still famous and [people] recognise you but they recognise you while you sitting next to them on the bus”.
In trouble and hopeless, his then-girlfriend suggested Smith just hang around Paramount near The Arsenio Hall Show studio in hopes of meeting someone influential. Listening to his girlfriend led him to Quincy Jones’ home who asked him to audition on the spot. Speaking of the impromptu audition, Will said: “I was like f*** it then. I said yes and I let it rip and I got to the end and everyone’s clapping.”
His performance impressed those gathered enough that Jones quickly demanded his lawyers draw up a contract for Smith to play the lead in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. The two-time Academy Award nominee concluded by saying that people should always say yes when the opportunity comes and they should “listen to your girlfriends”.
Meanwhile, on the professional front, he has his plate filled with movies. He will be next seen in Aladdin, where he will be seen playing the role of Genie. The movie is scheduled to release in 2019. The Bright star will also be reprising the role of Deadshot in the sequel of Suicide Squad, which is also slated to release in 2019.