Will Smith used to be the biggest movie star on the planet.
But now that he's on the other side of it, he thinks that may actually have been a mistake!
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Speaking to the audience at a Cannes Lion session on Tuesday, the Suicide Squad star got very candid on how he feels about choosing to star in movies based on money rather than art.
And Wild Wild West is the sterling example of that period in his career. He explained:
"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."
Unless we're misreading that, he's totally saying he didn't believe in Wild Wild West!
Photo: Will's Familiar Suicide Squad Look
Yeah, we're not misreading. He went on to say the wacky Western steampunk flick only became a blockbuster because of its mammoth marketing campaign, which he does not think would work today:
"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 sh*t… But now what happens is 10 minutes into the movie, people are tweeting, 'This is sh*t. Go see Vin Diesel.'"
Ha! So true…
Will has experienced this himself with the universally panned After Earth and from shooting distance with the slight underperformance of Squad precursor Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice being chalked up largely to lackluster critical and fan reception.
Is he through with all that? Has he finally made the move to choosing projects he really believes in?? We'll have to wait and watch.
Suicide Squad hits theaters August 5.
[Image via Warner Bros..]
Tags: box office, business blitz, cannes, film flickers, nostalgia, wild wild west, will smith