Will Smith Details How He Became the 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'

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Smith says he blew through all of his money, didn't pay his taxes and then had a flop when the rap duo released their second album.

"Being famous and broke is a shitty combination", the Smith said.

They began filming for Fresh Prince three months later and that's the story of how Will Smith became the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. In my mind, I wasn't like trying to avoid paying taxes.


In trouble and hopeless, his then-girlfriend suggested Smith just hang around Paramount near the The Arsenio Hall Show studio in hopes of meeting someone influential. There he met Benny Medina, the man who "Fresh Prince" was based on. "I met Benny and he pitches me the thought for this present, and I'm like, 'I'm not an actor'". Well, Smith swallowed his pride and did it - and turned his life upside down in the process.

This time around, Smith tells the story of how he redeemed his career by taking a chance on himself as an actor.

The legendary music producer acquiesced, saying Smith might meet him in two weeks for an audition or he "might take 10 minutes proper now and you would change your life without end". "I mentioned sure and I let it rip and I bought to the top and everybody's clapping", Smith mentioned of his impromptu audition.


"He had been consuming, it was apparent", Smith mentioned, smiling.

When "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" ended its six-year run in 1996, Smith was starring in "Independence Day", the film that put him on the map as an action hero.

'Quincy is like popping up at the windows going like, "No paralysis, do analysis! No paralysis, do evaluation!' Like how did he make Thriller like this?" And I suppose we have a drunk Quincy Jones (and Smith's ex-girlfriend) to thank for one of the best TV shows of the '90s.


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