Back When Will Smith Revealed the One Condition He Needs to Play a Bad Guy

Published 07/11/2023, 4:00 PM EDT

via Getty

Will Smith is widely recognized as one of the most beloved and magnetic actors in Hollywood. With a string of blockbuster hits like Men in Black, Independence Day, Bad Boys, and Aladdin under his belt, he has solidified his position as a crowd favorite. He has captivated audiences with his stunning performances. His roles are as good guys or heroes in the majority of the films he has starred in. However, the acclaimed actor has made an intentional choice to rarely take on the role of a villain.

Why has he held himself back from taking on a darker role? Turns out for this one condition.

Will Smith once revealed one condition that can get him to play a villain

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Exploring different shades of gray in human nature is something he has always found fascinating. Moreover, he said that playing a villain is an opportunity to challenge himself as an actor while providing thought-provoking content for audiences. The 54-year-old actor had once clarified that he didn’t want to play a villain simply for the sake of being evil or causing trouble. He stood drawn to playing villains who had purpose and justification for their actions. He aimed to teach, alert, and inspire viewers through his portrayal of antagonistic characters.

via Imago

In a 2007 interview with Empire (via Female First), Smith explained that his villains had to carry a message. “I’m sure there is a bad guy at some point that has the right message,” he said.

He expressed his belief that even bad guys could convey a meaningful message pointing to movies like Scarface as examples. He highlighted how Scarface resonated with audiences by portraying the consequences of power and drug addictionFurthermore, he stated that he enjoyed delving into complex characters who grappled with moral dilemmas and inner conflicts. He looked to stray as far away as possible from the Suicide Squad related controversy. 

The actor has expressed openness towards taking on a negative role if presented with the right script and message. He emphasized his constant search for new opportunities and experiences in order to grow both professionally and personally.

However, has the I Robot actor never played a villain before? Or has he?

Smith’s uncredited tryst with the dark side

Will Smith is better known for his anti-hero role as Deadshot in 2016’s Suicide Squad. However, since he later teams up for a noble cause later on in that movie, he would not be considered a ‘true’ villain. His first and only proper outing as a villain was in a 2014 movie titled Winter’s Tale. He played the character of Lucifer – the ruler of demons.

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Will Smith’s appearance in the film as Lucifer is incredibly brief and uncredited. In just two scenes he portrays a meeting with another character in a dimly lit basement. Donning casual attire, Smith speaks with an unsettling calmness serving as a mysterious warning—notably absent from any promotional materials or trailers. His presence in the film aimed to provide an unforeseen twist and shock for the audience. However, Smith’s presence bothered and mismatched the film for others. They argued he was wrong for the role and wasted in terms of screen time.

The actor has now moved forward by embracing other endeavors and confronting new challenges. 

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Do you want to see him play more villain roles in the future? Let us know in the comments below!

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Imteshal Karim

844 articles

Imteshal Karim is a Hollywood News reporter at NetflixJunkie. With a penchant for writing in multiple forms, he is a published writer with his works published in anthologies. A star at his college’s writing competitions, he loves telling a good story and hopes to tell impactful ones about the unexplored side of the Entertainment industry.

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