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Hollywood's Will Smith on Inner Game

Here’s something interesting I found in the paper today: Will Smith actually discussing his Inner Game. 

It makes sense, as an actor, for him to be invested in social dynamics… which is clearly true for him, in the way he disects things and theorizes about social responses and reactions.. and his eye towards self-improvement. 

Here are some interesting excerpts from that article. Read this, especially what he says in the last paragraph. 


– 8

..Which is strange for Smith, who is nothing if not calculating. 

For all the on-screen charisma that has made him a Hollywood ATM, Smith is, at his core, a statistician with social skills. He breaks down the films he’s considering into subcategories — are there enough special effects, a love story? — to calculate their commercial or Oscar viability. Most Mondays, he pores over box office reports the way sports nuts read box scores, even when he doesn’t have a movie in theaters. 

“He’s one of the last true leading men,” says Alex Proyas, who directed him in “I, Robot.” “There’s a connection he has with audiences who will see him in anything he does. I don’t quite know how you explain that kind of magic.” 

Smith does it with integers. 

“I study patterns,” he says. “Nine out of the top 10 biggest movies of all times have special effects; eight out of 10 have creatures in them; seven out of 10 have a love story. So if you want a hit, you might want to throw those in the mix. I just study patterns and try to stand where lightning strikes.” 

On negativity and disappointments.. “You have to let that roll off you,” he says. “There’s a natural narcotic my brain must pump, because negativity doesn’t last. It’s strange to play a guy like Hancock, who can’t find something to feel good about. That’s the opposite of who I am.” 

“I’ve got this theory that as long as your characters are harmless, or in pain, they can be funny… And artistically, that’s where you need to be, too. You have to find the humor in things.”

Still, he’s bothered by how the entertainment media handle Cruise’s faith. 

“That’s painful for me to see,” he says. “I’ve met very few people committed to goodness the way Tom is. We disagree on a lot of things. But even with different faiths and different beliefs, at the end of the day, goodness is goodness.”


Co-star Charlize Theron considers Smith’s spell on fans almost cultlike. “He’s making them drink the Kool-Aid,” she says. But, she’s quick to add, “He really is that guy. He really is that energetic. He really loves people. He loves life. He doesn’t take it for granted. He goes through life like a steamroller.”

Sometimes, a headstrong steamroller. “He has thought out every scene, every word in the screenplay, and he has a theory about all of them,” says director Peter Berg. “He’s scary smart. He plays chess. He taught us all how to solve the Rubik’s Cube, though he’s still the only guy who can do it.” 

And Smith stands his ground if he thinks a scene doesn’t add up… 

“It’s rare that a decision is made in Will’s world until all identifiable options have been discussed,” Berg says. “He can mentally exhaust you. There were times I had to say, ‘Will, I’m going home. I don’t have the strength to battle you anymore.’ But his instincts are usually right.” 

Correction, Smith says. It’s not all instinct. 

“I think of the universe as this big, master computer,” he says. “The keyboard is inside each of us. I have a keyboard inside of me. I just have to figure out what to type, learn the code, to make the things happen that I want.”


This article was first published on the Seduction University forums.

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