Cannes Lions 2016 : Day Four
Will Smith speaks during 'The Pursuit of Impact' seminar in Cannes, France, on June 21, 2016. Richard Bord—Getty Images

Will Smith Knows Exactly How Bad Wild Wild West Was

Jun 22, 2016

Will Smith is a serious actor now. To prove this the former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air turned Concussion star has been trying to distance himself from a little steampunk western flick called Wild Wild West.

While Smith starred in the television-show-turned-movie way back in 1999, he is now trying to distance himself from the box office flop, which also featured Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh and Salma Hayek.

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, at a Cannes Lion discussion this week, Smith confessed that his decision to star in Wild Wild West was driven by a hunger for fame, which briefly overshadowed his artistic vision. (He famously passed up playing Neo in The Matrix in order to play gunslinger Jim West in Wild Wild West.)

“I had so much success that I started to taste global blood and my focus shifted from my artistry to winning. I wanted to win and be the biggest movie star, and what happened was there was a lag - around Wild Wild West time - I found myself promoting something because I wanted to win versus promoting something because I believed in it,” he said.

“I consider myself a marketer. My career has been strictly being able to sell my products globally, and it’s now in the hand of fans. I have to be in tune with their needs and not trick them into going to see Wild Wild West.”

While he didn't specifically mention his embarrassment over the fact that the seven-minute video for his theme song to the movie brought the world Sisqó, or whether he regretted performing "Wild Wild West" live and riding a horse through the auditorium before hitting the stage in what looks like a velvet cowboy outfit and busting out synchronized dance moves in front of Dru Hill, Stevie Wonder, and Kool Moe Dee, one can only assume it was included in his overarching mortification.

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