Will Smith calls fame a ‘Unique Monster’ at Red Sea International Film Festival

The Academy Award Will Smith calls fame a 'Unique Monster' at Red Sea International Film Festival
Credit: Red Sea Film Foundation Instagram

During the third round of the Red Sea International Film Festival on Saturday, the Academy Award winner for his role as Richard Williams in King Richard had all eyes and ears set to him as he candidly spoke about the secrets of his distinctive artistic journey in Hollywood as a part of the in-conversation at Red Sea Mall in Saudi Arabia.

By being one of the Hollywood A-list star guests at the prestigious event,  the renowned actor took the stage by giving all crucial insights into his decades-long career to the audience. But much to everyone’s surprise, he surprisingly opened up about his relationship with being famous. The 55-year-old actor described fame as a “unique monster” by shedding light on the extraordinary challenges and unparalleled experiences that go hand in hand with being in the spotlight, which instantly grabbed everyone’s 

As per a clip shared on X (formerly known as Twitter) by Deadline, Smith talked about his personal missions following some troubles of the last couple of years, which might also be referencing the infamous slap at the 94th Academy Awards, where Smith faced backlash for slapping presenter Chris Rock after Rock made an unscripted joke referencing Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, whose head was shaved due to alopecia areata. As a result, Smith had to subsequently resign from the Academy and was banned from attending all their events for ten years.

The Emancipation actor also said that he’s learned through previous “adversities” that he has to “be clear about who I am and what I am attempting to do in the world.” Smith added, “And I can’t need others to applaud for me to stay focused on my mission. I have always wanted to put good into the world.” Further stating, “I have always wanted to make people smile. I have always been devoted to the process of joy and inspiration.” 

Smith continued by admitting during the discussion that he’s “deeply human” with a “virtue” that he’s “not yet perfected.” He concluded, “I am in the process of perfecting my virtue. I would say the greatest thing that has happened is I have been deeply humbled and deeply inspired to perfect my light,” he explained. “And that’s what this next phase of my life is going to be — perfecting and shining my light as brightly as I can, on as many people as I can.”

“Right now, the thing I’m really excited about is the transfer of knowledge. I really want to teach. I really want to teach filmmaking. I want to work with people on big movies,” the actor expressed in a third video

Amidst all the hardships with the relentless pursuit of perfection and the sacrifices, one must make to maintain a public image. Smith also highlighted the incredible opportunities and privileges that fame brings. During the Q&A segment at the festival, the actor also opened up about the recent reports of a sequel for his 2007 blockbuster, I Am Legend, which was previously teased earlier this year by screenwriter Akiva Goldsman as a film where “the possibilities are endless.” 

Smith also gave a little more insight into the project, which features Michael B. Jordan, quoting, “I have a call with Michael B. Jordan tomorrow. We’re really close, the script just came in,” Smith said of “I Am Legend 2” at one of the festival’s In Conversation events. “You have to be a real ‘I Am Legend’ buff to know this, but in the first, theatrical version, my character dies, but on the DVD there was an alternate version of the ending where my character lived. We are going with the mythology of the DVD version. I can’t tell you anything more, but Michael B. Jordan is in.”

The actor and rapper also discussed “Bad Boys 4,” where he and co-star Martin Lawrence will reprise their roles in the earlier sequels of the original 1995 hit detective movie. The buddy cop action comedy film is being directed by Adil & Bilall, making it the sequel to Bad Boys for Life (2020) and the fourth installment in the Bad Boys franchise. The film is scheduled to be released in the United States on June 14, 2024, by Sony Pictures Releasing under the Columbia Pictures label.

The Red Sea Film Festival is scheduled to run until Saturday, December 9, 2023, with appearances from many A-listers and local talents lined up for the coming days.