Will Smith, the world-famous actor, musician, and producer, stopped by Kings Theatre in Brooklyn on November 9th for his book tour to promote his self-titled memoir “Will”. Moderated by legendary film director Spike Lee, Smith elaborated on parts of his unusual path to super-stardom for a sold-out audience. What makes Will Smith such a compelling actor and public figure was on full display that night.
Will Smith is a legendary figure in Hollywood, having been only actor to have starred in eight consecutive films which grossed over $100 million in the United States box office. He’s a blockbuster legend and a huge cultural figure for a wide variety of age groups. The sold-out crowd was filled with people from various ages and backgrounds, just showing how wide of a reach Will Smith’s films have had on all of us, which doesn’t even include his big break, the hugely popular 90’s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Accompanied by a massive visual board, Will and Spike walked through some of his biggest moments, ranging from Will’s impromptu audition for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air for producer Quincy Jones to the recent death of his father. Will’s father, Will Smith Sr., casts a shadow over the whole book and the conversations he had on stage. Will has referred to his father in the book as “his biggest ally and his biggest enemy”, which only sheds a little light on how complex their relationship was. While Will spoke about how grateful he was for the lessons his father bestowed on him about hard work, there was still intense resentment due to Will Smith Sr. having been an alcoholic abuser for most of Will’s childhood. Watching the famously guarded Will Smith work through his traumatic experiences on stage was fascinating.
In spite of the dark subject matter, Will really showed why he is who he is. I’ve rarely ever seen anybody so charming and naturally humorous. Even as an audience member, his charisma was too bright to ignore. You couldn’t help but fall under his spell, which is a testament to Will Smith’s ability as both a showman and a storyteller.
After having spoken to the audience about his life, Will unveiled a surprise and brought out DJ Jazzy Jeff, his old partner during his rapper days, to perform some of the old hits they were both famous for. They ran through classics like “Summertime,” “Switch,” and even the famous “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” theme song. I would not have guessed that in 2021 I’d see Will Smith perform these hits live, which was quite the experience.
Will Smith has one last stop of his book tour in London on Thursday, November 18th. You can see more details here. Be sure to check out the full photo gallery below!