With all the exuberance Will Smith exhibits in public and in his movies/TV appearances, it’s a wonder he isn’t President of the U.S. by now. Of course, he’s talked about doing just that once, even if mostly in jest.
One has to wonder if Smith still wouldn’t manage to win based on his convincing way of saying anything.
How he cultivated his boisterous personality is all attributable to natural energy. The place where he was raised perhaps partly explains his personality strengths.
Will Smith is from a city known for its populous street smarts. However, you’ll soon learn Smith had a mathematical intellect as a teen. The world should be grateful he used it in entertainment rather than in academia.
The streets of Philadelphia
Born on September 25, 1968 in Philadelphia, PA, you can say Will is directly from the tough streets of West Philly. Nobody could imagine him being born anywhere else since this is where you can truly learn how to handle situations, not including expanding your vocabulary.
Philly is known for this and for shaping famous people who kept similar outgoing personalities while spending time learning the street ropes. Smith translated this into a music career, though he could have gone in a much different direction. His I.Q. was high, and he was almost accepted into MIT through a scholarship.
He didn’t go because he never wanted to go to college. A music career was his first aspiration, something he managed to achieve before he was 20 years old.
Those of you old enough to remember the late ’80s will remember when he teamed up with Jeff Townes to create a family-friendly rap act. Their first albums together were major hits out of the chute.
Going from Philly to Bel-Air
Only three years into a highly successful rap career (as The Fresh Prince), Smith managed to land a deal starring in his own sitcom for NBC. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air might have been only loosely based on his own life. Regardless, there were still numerous similarities.
For one, he was known as “Will Smith” on the show, and he was also from Philly. Living in Bel-Air was perhaps off-base outside of Smith settling in Los Angeles by this time.
It’s more than possible he might have had to go back to Philly had it not been for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Many fans have forgotten he was in serious tax debt at the time. The show saved him from likely having to declare bankruptcy due to the IRS garnishing his salary and selling off his assets.
Success on the show and studying how to succeed in movies helped keep him from becoming a mere footnote in show business history.
Movie stardom and raising a family kept Smith living in Hollywood
Thanks to Smith taking the time to carefully study how movies succeed at the box office, he was able to crack the code on how to find and land roles right for him. He had natural acting talent, fortunately, allowing him to show off his acting skills in various indie films during the early 1990s.
Films like Where the Day Takes You (his film debut) and Six Degrees of Separation proved he could do any kind of role and almost steal the movie away from his co-stars.
By the time he made Independence Day in 1996, he solidified his goal as a major international box office star and becoming the true King of Hollywood. He’s back in Hollywood’s good graces now (well, for the most part) with his turn as Genie in Disney’s 2019 Aladdin remake.
He also focused on starting a big family after marrying Jada Pinkett and having one son (Trey) from a prior marriage. All the kids Smith and Pinkett had over the last 20 years led them to stay centered in Los Angeles to this day.
They’ve clearly found some level of sanity living in Tinseltown when so many other celebrity families living there have trouble avoiding chaos.