Soon after Will Smith began starring on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” the rapper-turned-actor became a household name. Beginning in 1992, The Wrap reported that Smith made the jump from TV to movies with his film debut in “Where The Day Takes You.” He upped the ante in 1995 with the buddy cop comedy “Bad Boys,” and followed it up with box office smashes like “Independence Day” and “Men In Black.” Clearly, once Smith decided that acting was for him, he gave it his all.
Of course, the actor likely wouldn’t have gotten to where he is today without some help along the way. In his self-titled memoir, which dropped in November 2021, Smith spoke about how he sought advice from some of the biggest movie stars of the day. After spotting Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, and Arnold Schwarzenegger at a party, he reportedly asked them about becoming a movie star (via Insider). Schwarzenegger allegedly replied, “You are not a movie star if your movies are only successful in America. You are not a movie star until every person in every country on Earth knows who you are. You have to travel the globe, shake every hand, kiss every baby, think of yourself as a politician running for the biggest movie star in the world.” It’s advice that Smith clearly took to heart, as he has been one of the world’s biggest celebrities since the 2000’s.