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Will Smith has often held his 2006 film The Pursuit of Happyness in high regard. At one point in time, he considered the movie the apex of his career, and something he’d never duplicate. But Smith admitted that he might have matched, and perhaps even surpassed Happyness with King Richard.

Will Smith once considered ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ one of his best films

Will Smith smiling in a grey suit.
Will Smith | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Smith is very proud of his Pursuit of Happyness. So much so, he told GQ that he considered the movie one of the best films in his career. Smith only tied one other movie with the 2006 biopic.

“For the best, I think it’s a tie between the first Men in Black and Pursuit of Happyness. For different reasons, those are the two almost perfect movies,” Smith said.

Talking to IGN, Smith also touched on how different this film was compared to the types of films he usually made.

“I know how to make a movie make $100 million. I know how to do it. I’ve studied ‘The Hero’s Journey.’ I know what the Top 10 films of all time are. I know you need special effects and you need creatures and you need a love story, and I know how to do it,” Smith said. “For me, I’ve never had the feeling from people that I’m getting with The Pursuit of Happyness, that the way this film is touching people, I’ve just never had this experience before. And it came from such a freedom space. I had no idea what I was doing the whole time.”

Will Smith never thought he’d make a movie as good as ‘The Pursuit of happyness’


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Smith may have finally found a film that he believes might match his experiences with The Pursuit of Happyness. Reflecting on King Richard with Entertainment Tonight, Smith couldn’t help but shower his latest project with praise.

“This one is special,” Smith said.

After doing the film, he’d spent some time away from it by focusing on other projects. This enabled Smith to return to the movie with fresher eyes when it came to theaters.

“So, by the time the film is coming out, you’ve potentially made one or two other things, and you’ve moved on in your mind, so when the audience sees it, it’s almost like you’re getting to see it again for the first time, along with the audience, and I was completely and utterly blown away at what [King Richard director Ray Green] was able to do so delicately with this film,” he continued.

Smith was so blown away by the film that it put to rest a thought he had about The Pursuit of Happyness.

“You always hear that cliche, ‘Oh, I laughed, I cried,’ [but] it’s one of those films that really covers a broad spectrum of emotion and ideas, that’s truly rare,” Smiths said.”I had secretly in my mind felt that I would never make anything better than The Pursuit of Happyness, and I never said that out loud, but I felt like I would never make anything better than The Pursuit of Happyness and then I saw King Richard.”

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Smith is no longer focused on being the biggest actor on the planet. Nowadays, his priorities have shifted from box-office success to making films with a purpose.

“I want to make stories that make me smile, I want to tell stories that make me cry and I want to tell stories about the triumph of the human spirit and the women of the movement, and King Richard fit in with that,” he said. “The amount of time we spend on the set and on these things, I don’t want to ask anybody, ever to do anything that they’re not going to be proud of, for the rest of their life.”