During a recent appearance on Kevin Hart’s talk show Hart to Hart, Academy Award-winning actor Will Smith revealed that he was initially hesitant to star in Men in Black. That is, of course, until the legendary Steven Spielberg involved.
According to Smith, Spielberg flew him out to his house on a private helicopter to ask why he didn’t want to star in the Barry Sonnenfeld-directed film.
“Steven Spielberg sent a helicopter for me to talk to me. I was in New York. It landed at his house. And, like, he had me at hello. And it was the first time I ever had lemonade with carbonated water. You can’t say no to that,” Smith said during a recent appearance on Kevin Hart’s Hart to Hart talk show.
“He said the coldest s—: ‘Tell me why you don’t want to make my movie…’ And he was the producer. And he put the ellipsis at the end, it was the dot, dot, dot. If he had continued, he would have said, ‘Joker, you know I made Jaws, right? You know I made E.T.‘”
Smith would not only go on to star in Men in Black but its two sequels: Men in Black 2 in 2002 and Men in Black 3 in 2012.
Men in Black is one of a handful of mid-90s action movies that turned Smith into an international movie star alongside Bad Boys and Independence Day.
In the following decades, Smith would go on to become one of the biggest and most in-demand movie stars in the world, which eventually culminated in him winning the Oscar for Best Actor at the Academy Awards in 2021.
That night, however, wound up being perhaps the worst of Smith’s career as it was overshadowed by him wildly deciding to storm the stage to slap Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett.