By Miki Turner
Special to Page 3
BEVERLY HILLS -- Will Smith is one of those cats who can seemingly do no wrong when it comes to his career. The vast majority of his movies, especially the ones released in July, are box-office hits. His latest, "I, Robot," is likely to be as big, if not bigger than his previous July blockbusters "Independence Day" and "Men in Black."
The futuristic thriller that hits theaters on Friday, is set in the year 2035. Smith portrays a police detective who suspects that the user-friendly robots are not so, uh, friendly. He's right.
In 10 Burning Questions, the engaging Philly native chats about his new film, kicking robot butt, reactions to his nude scene, Chuck Taylors, the Lakers, and more.
1. Is it tougher to kick a robot's butt than say a creature in "Men in Black?"
Will Smith: Actually, the process with the robots was somewhat easier because the technology has grown to the point where now they can actually use a person. They had the guys in the green suits. Like Alan Tudyk played the main robot. Being able to play the scene with a person actually gives it real organic texture, versus looking at a tennis ball.
2. Your character wears a pair of vintage Chuck Taylors from the turn of the century. Are CTs going to be the next big fashion statement for men rocking black leather pants?
Chuck Taylors are going to be around forever. I think that's the one thing, just like every empire that has ever existed -- the Egyptian Empire, the Pyramids, the Roman Empire, the Colosseum -- that will last. When America is gone 500 or 800 years from now, Chuck Taylors will still be around.
What about Air Jordans?
Yeah, those, too, but everyone can't afford those! Chuck Taylors are easier on the wallet!
3. Your character cries in this film. Is it OK for guys to cry, and have you ever cried watching a movie?
Oh, God, I cry all the time. I sit up in the movie theater and I escape. I go with whatever the emotion of the film is. It's not difficult for me to go where the filmmakers are trying to take me.
4. We also see your character, Det. Spooner, nude in the shower. Was that a hard scene to shoot?
No ... you know I have to keep it in shape just in case I have to come up out of my clothes!
What did your wife Jada think of that scene?
She loved that. She says all the time that no woman wants a man that another woman doesn't want! She is very comfortable. When she starts to see me slipping a little bit, she's like, "Hey, fella!"
5. You spend a lot of money on gadgets and trailers and other luxury items. What do you hate to spend money on?
Clothes. I just can't. A $600 T-shirt, I'm like, No. Shoes ... $400 pair of shoes? Are you crazy? Very, very rarely do I pay for anything I have on. I just can't. I refuse. I'll try and work it so that if I'm going to a premiere I'll make sure it's in a magazine, but you have to give me the clothes for free.
6. You're a big golf fanatic. How often do you get to play these days and what's your handicap?
None. I don't get to play at all. I was fiddling with single digits for a while, but I'm probably an 18 right now.
7. Were you one of the cats approached about coaching the Lakers?
(Laughs) Don't even get me started on that.
What do you think of the whole Lakers circus?
I just think it's ridiculous. Three out of five years you win championships ... Relationships, just like any other thing in life, are going to have their ups and downs, and some die eventually. But you don't have to piss on the grave. I just think once you win three championships with somebody ... It's just like my relationship with Jazzy Jeff. We worked on a lot of music together for a lot of years. A lot of my success is on his back. Even during the times that we had disagreements, in a million years I would never act like (Shaq and Kobe). I bought my house because of that dude. Whatever he needs for the rest of his life, he's got it no matter what we disagree on. I just think it's hard to see when you're inside -- once you feel insulted or you feel hurt or disrespected.
Maybe you should sit down and have a chat with Mitch Kupchak and Jerry Buss.
I think I'm going to mind my business.
8. Lakers or Sixers?
Always Sixers. You've got to go with home. Nobody likes a dude who abandons home.
9. Word on the street is that you might give up doing action movies in the next few years.
I feel I have about five or six more years of action movies and blowing stuff up. I probably want to hurry up and get those while I can still take my shirt off in a movie!
How often do you train?
I train every day. I got to get a little something in. When I'm slipping, I'm only lifting weights. But when I'm training properly, it's cardio in the morning -- five miles -- and then lifting weights at lunch or after work.
10. What do you do on your down time?
Just lots of sex (laughs).
Miki Turner covers the good life in LA. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.