Will Smith, The Actor

Will Smith came to our acting studio a few years ago to speak about acting.

Here are some acting pointers from the amazing, Will Smith.

  • Keep it simple. It is one line at a time. One scene at a time.
  • You can not care about anything other than your objective.
  • 90% of what you do is unusable.  (Don’t get caught up in getting every take perfect.)
  • Bravery to the point of foolishness is where the magic happens.
  • Preparation. The depth of your character’s psychology protects your from your psychology.
  • Brilliant actors are made in single moments.
  • Break the fear.  Fear in eyes is picked up on camera.

Will Smith started talking about The Pursuit of Happyness.  He told this story about shooting this emotional scene with his son, where he asks his Dad if he was the reason why his mom left them.  Will said, “I remember thinking in my head this is it.  This is going to be the clip they show at the Oscars…(he starts to act out the line) Mom left because of mom.”  “But then, he said, snot started rolling out of my nose and I kept thinking this snot is ruining my Oscar winning take!!” (He was not living in the moment.  He was in his head)  Then Jaden reached up and wiped it away.  He couldn’t believe it.  “That’s what you do when snot comes running down your nose… you wipe it away!!”

The lesson from this reminded him of how important it is to USE EVERYTHING in a take.  Live in the moment.  THERE IS NO PERFECT.  You have to be free to experience everything in the scene instead of trying to manipulating what you think is going to be “hot”.

The best advice he gave was this…


Will said he takes this advice to heart himself.

He said, “In that journey  you will find the greatest acting lessons.”

Here are some examples;

– To be the best husband/boyfriend, you have to listen, trust and be vulnerable.

– To physically be the best, you have to experience pain, sacrifice and dedication.

– To be cultured, you have to fill your life with art, music, books and travel.


  1. Great advice for acting and for life! How cool that you had the opportunity to learn these things from him.

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