For the average American, sending your boss to the hospital would earn them a pink slip and a court date.
For Will Smith, it earned him lead roles in nine Men In Black movies and nine figures.
In his upcoming memoir, director Barry Sonnenfeld reveals a futile game he and Smith used to play on the set of Men In Black and Wild, Wild West.
Sonnefeld told Page Six he and Smith used to punch each other in the arm as hard as they could to pass the time on set.
“I would hit him as hard as I could in his shoulder and he would laugh hysterically,” Sonnenfeld explained, “And he would hit me as hard as he could in my shoulder and I would collapse in pain.”
Apparently, after one episode of playful punching, Sonnefeld required surgery for a broken hand. But when pressed by a doctor as to the cause of the injury, Sonnenfeld replied that the injuring party was a door he walked into. Altruism aside, Sonnenfeld knew that if he revealed the real cause of the injury — Smith’s punches — the film’s insurance wouldn’t cover the cost associated with missing a day of filming.
At this time, Jada Pinkett Smith was going into labor with Jaden, which would require Will to take time off. Will’s absence would not have been covered by insurance, so Sonnefeld leaned on his injury as the cause of pausing production.
“It worked out great for Will because he would have had to shut down production anyway,” Sonnefeld notes, “and that was not insurable so he would have had to spend like $200,000 for the day.” “So, since I ‘walked into a door,’” the director points out, “we had to shut down…it was an insurance claim.”
Only Will Smith can break someone’s hand and immediately milk a favor from him.
And this was not a one-time thing, this tomfoolery.
The “Independence Day” actor tackled the director on the set of “Men in Black” and broke Sonnefeld’s rotator cuff.
“My wife Sweetie took a photo of me in the recovery room with tubes and I’m out of it and sent it to Will,” recalled Sonnenfeld. “His response was – ‘Hilarious!’”
Just to keep score: Will Smith broke Barry Sonnenfeld’s hand, saved $200,000, tore his rotator cuff, and then shit on Wild, Wild West for being an ass movie.
Will Smith is one of the rare people on earth whose fame has earned his invincibility.
[h/t Page Six]