Will Smith on Political Future: ‘They Might Need Me Out There’


Hollywood mega-star Will Smith is busy thinking about life after movies.

In an interview on The Hollywood Reporter‘s Awards Chatter podcast, the 47-year-old actor says that he has been surveying the current political landscape and could someday soon make his own move into politics.

“I’m a climber, so if I see a mountain, I have to climb it,” Smith told THR‘s Scott Feinberg. “I’m not a camper; I don’t like hanging in one place too long. So I think, at this point, I’m elevating my ability to be useful in the world.”

Smith continued:

I think that that’s what my grandmother always hoped, that I would make myself useful to people in this lifetime. I’m working really hard and my storytelling is elevating, my ability to be eloquent with my body and with my voice and to deliver ideas as an actor is elevating. And, you know, as I look at the political landscape, I think that there might be a future out there for me. They might need me out there. This is the first year that I’ve been incensed to a level that I can’t sleep, you know? So I’m feeling that at some point, in the near future, I will have to lend my voice to the conversation in a somewhat different way.

Before Smith gets started on his political career, he’ll appear next in Concussion, where he stars as Dr. Bennet Omalu, the man who first discovered the link between professional football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Smith, who was nominated for two Oscars for his roles in two other biopics (Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness), says that biopics put him under pressure that purely fictional films do not.

“The stakes for me, in biopics, is 10 times as high, because at the end of this process, I’m going to sit in a movie theater next to the person who I’ve played. I’ve only ever played people who are still living, so there’s pros and cons to that,” the actor said. “The pros are that if you get stuck in a scene, you can actually call the person… But then there’s that difficult thing that never seems to dawn on me in the beginning. I always get in and then remember, three quarters of the way through the process, ‘Oh, my God, they’re going to watch this with their family!'”

Smith also covered the outlet’s annual Actors Roundtable issue this month, where he said in the accompanying interview that prejudice in Hollywood has not affected his decades-long acting career, because “everybody is prejudiced.”

Everybody has their life experiences that make them prefer one thing over another — it makes them prefer blond hair over a brunette; if you see somebody with dark skin walking down the street, you have a different reaction than you have [with] someone who is 5-foot-1 and white. But there is a connotation with racism of superiority: You feel that your race generally is superior. And I have to say, I live with constant prejudice, but racism is actually rare — someone who thinks their race is superior. I don’t want to work for them. I don’t want to work at that company. And the times I have come in contact with it, you get away from those people.

Concussion hits theaters on Christmas Day.


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