Will Smith Admits His Personal Life Affected His Movie Performances — ‘I Had Hit a Ceiling in My Talent’

There’s been an increased interest in Will Smith’s personal life during 2020, but according to the actor, he’s had some serious personal issues long before the “entanglement” fiasco.

Apparently, around 2012, Smith was dealing with a ton of issues in his family that were affecting his ability to perform on screen. He admits that it wasn’t until he did the personal work and changed his strategy for making movies that things began to change. 

Will Smith’s been a topic of discussion in 2020

Will Smith
Will Smith attends the “Ismael’s Ghosts” screening | Matthias Nareyek/Getty Images

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Although Smith and his family’s lives have always been a topic of interest for people, they received a ton of attention in mid-2020. After August Alsina announced that he and Jada Pinkett-Smith had been in a relationship, the internet went into a frenzy. During her subsequent Red Table Talk, Jada Pinkett-Smith discussed the since-passed situation, labeling it an “entanglement.” 

After the video came out, many people on the internet discussed Smith’s marriage and personal life. Even Smith has since clarified that he wasn’t crying in the video, people are still skeptical. And while Smith might not be having issues with his wife at the moment, he definitely was several years ago.

Will Smith’s personal problems blocked him creatively

In 2012, Smith was having problems with his marriage and parenting. Smith was still working, but the more Smith ignored his personal issues, the harder it became for him to continue improving as an actor. He was unable to provide more compelling performances than his previous works, he told The Hollywood Reporter several years ago.

“I had hit a ceiling in my talent,” Smith said. “I had a great run that I thought was fantastic, and I realized that I had done everything I could do with the ‘me’ that I had.”

After his realization, Smith went to work on himself, looking for ways to improve his personal life.

“I didn’t work for about two years. Marriage counseling, 50 parenting books, all of that type of stuff, and I just really dived into me, and then all of a sudden it was like ‘oh’ and I found the connection between like you really, you can’t—your work can never really be better than you are. Your work can’t be deeper than you are.” 

Will Smith’s performances changed when his mentality changed

Later in the interview, he reveals that things didn’t really improve for him until he adopted a new mentality toward the projects he selected. He decided he needed to focus on “people” rather than “product.” 

“It was really a moment where, I’ve always been really product oriented,” Smith said. “You know, it’s like, I want to win. When I do something, I want it to be number one, and I want to smash it. And, I had a period, you know I have a daughter now, I have a 15 year old daughter and she really, she got me and shifted my focus from product to people. It took a couple of years, but as soon as I got knocked off of product and started shifting to people, the whole world opened up for me again, and acting opened up in a whole new way.” 

Smith explained that once he made the shift, he changed his approach toward filmmaking. He stopped trying to figure out what everyone around him had to do to “win,” and started opening up more. 

Smith’s changes are clearly working for him. His most recent flick, Bad Boys for Life grossed over $426 million at the box office, according to Box Office Mojo.