Based on the fact that he’s one of the highest-paid actors in the world and that his children talk like out-of-touch alien billionaires, Will Smith seems like the kind of rich I can only imagine about being. I picture him doing ultra-decadent shit, like delivering messages to Jada by hiring a skywriter (“We need more paper towels“). Apparently getting mega-rich off of shitty blockbusters that turned him into a massive star was one of Will Smith’s goals. But not anymore. Will spoke at the Cannes Lions festival yesterday about his career, and he says it’s all about the ~art~ now.
Will explained that shortly after he started to get a little successful, he started caring less about the words in the scripts and more about if it was the kind of movie that would give him bragging rights. In Will’s words, he wanted to “win.” That kind of thinking lead him to making one of the worst movies of the 90s, Wild Wild West. Despite the fact that Wild Wild West currently holds a beyond-dismal rating of 17% on Rotten Tomatoes, it still made more than $200 million. Will knew he was making a pile of steampunk garbage, but he didn’t care, because he knew it was going to be a huge summer movie.
I had so much success that I started to taste global blood and my focus shifted from my artistry to winning. I wanted to win and be the biggest movie star, and what happened was there was a lag—around Wild Wild West time—I found myself promoting something because I wanted to win versus promoting something because I believed in it.
Will adds that the success of an undercooked turkey like Wild Wild West was all thanks to a hard-working marketing department. But he doesn’t think a movie like Wild Wild West would be so lucky today, because audiences aren’t as easy to fool.
That smoke and mirrors in marketing is over. People are going to know really quickly and globally whether a product keeps its promises. Back in the ’80s and ’90s you had a piece of crap movie, you put a trailer with a lot of explosions and it was Wednesday before people knew your movie was shit…But now what happens is 10 minutes into the movie, people are tweeting, ‘This is shit. Go see Vin Diesel.’
My career has been strictly being able to sell my products globally, and it’s now in the hand of fans. I have to be in tune with their needs and not trick them into going to see Wild Wild West.
Trick them into seeing Wild Wild West? Excuse you, Will Smith. But I knew very well what I was getting into when I went to see that busted cash grab. I was getting 106 minutes of hot DILF Kevin Kline in old timey drag.
I’m sure there are some of you who are wondering if Wild Wild West is the kind of bad that requires an apology from one of its stars 17 years after its release. I think this should answer your question:
Why do I get the feeling that the memory of giving a deeply unsexy lap dance to Kenneth Branagh in harem girl drag is the most shameful admission that has come up in Will Smith’s ALLEGED Scientology auditing sessions.
Here’s more of Will speaking at the Cannes Lions festival. Jaden Smith was also there to pimp out an ethical bottled water brand. Jaden drinks water? I always pictured him as more of an ‘invisible self-aware molecules absorbed through the skin’ type.