Will Smith Says He ‘Almost Never’ Does Anything Just for Fun

  • Will Smith told the New York Times that he “almost never” does anything just for fun. 
  • The star said that he wakes up at 4 a.m. to read and think about dreams or ideas he wants to pursue. 
  • Smith also described his life as “pretty structured.”

Will Smith said that he hardly does anything purely for fun and that he maintains a “structured” day-to-day schedule. 

In a new interview with the New York Times, reporter David Marchese asked the 53-year-old actor: “You sound so intentional about everything. Do you ever do stuff just for fun?”

In response, Smith said, “Almost never.”

“It might be something I’ll have to start to let go of,” he continued. “I’ve been letting go of outcomes. I used to be wildly goal- and target-oriented. But my intention is still really firm. My life is pretty structured. I’m always up from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. reading and meditating on specific things or dreams and ideas that I want to put into the world. I’m very organized in that way. I guess the illusion of control settles my mind. I hope.”

In his self-titled memoir released in November, the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” alum detailed his rise to fame and explained how his goal-oriented mindset played a major part in that. 

Smith recalled telling his manager, James Lassiter, that he wanted to be “the biggest movie star in the world.”

They did extensive research to determine what qualities a movie star possessed and analyzed the top 10 grossing movies of all time. They found that a majority of the films had special effects, creatures, and a romantic storyline. 

Smith specifically went after projects that included those elements. He ended up starring in eight consecutive No. 1 films that made over $100 million domestically: “Men in Black 2;” “Bad Boys 2,” “I, Robot;” “Shark Tale;” “Hitch;” “The Pursuit of Happyness;” “I Am Legend;” and “Hancock.”  

Will Smith and Jaden Smith sitting next to each other at a table in "The Pursuit of Happyness."

Will Smith and Jaden Smith in “The Pursuit of Happyness.”

Columbia Pictures

Smith also wrote in his memoir that he monitored Tom Cruise’s global press activity so he could surpass him as the biggest movie star in the world.

Smith continues to be a prevalent actor in Hollywood, taking on iconic roles like the genie in Disney’s live-action remake of “Aladdin” and reprising his role as Mike Lowrey for “Bad Boys for Life.” His latest film, “King Richard,” is garnering Smith Oscar buzz for his performance as Richard Williams, the father of tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams. 

In his NYT interview, Smith said that “strategizing about being the biggest movie star in the world — that is all completely over.”

“I realized that in order to enjoy my time here and in order to be helpful, it’s much more about self-examination,” he said. “I want to take roles where I get to look at myself, where I get to look at my family, I get to look at ideas that are important to me.

“I have as close to zero self-interest in that area as could possibly be,” Smith added.

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