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Will Smith looks forward to Obama inauguration

Hollywood star Will Smith has said he will be an "eyewitness to history" when he attends the impending inauguration of US President-elect Barack Obama.

Smith braved freezing temperatures to mingle with fans as he attended the opening of his latest film at the Empire Cinema in Leicester Square in London's West End.

The actor, appearing at the Gala premiere of Seven Pounds, said he was excited about Obama's inauguration.

But the world famous movie star acknowledged that being an actor was far easier than the role that Mr Obama is about to step into.

Smith is due to attend Mr Obama's inauguration on January 20 and told the waiting press that he would not perform a rap at the ceremony.

He explained: "You know I thought about that, but I think I'm going to keep it a little more subdued than that. I'm just going to stand there and be an eyewitness to history."

Seven Pounds, directed by Italian Gabriele Muccino charts Smith's character - Ben Thomas' attempts at redemption following a horrific accident.

The film which also features Rosario Dawson, star of Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof, opened in the US last year to lukewarm reviews and Smith acknowledged that it was a different subject matter to his normal projects.

He explained: "I play a guy who has experienced a really bad trauma in his life and what happens is he sets out to find seven people who he's going to help in order to repent for his sins. And then in the process he meets Rosario Dawson's character and then there's this fantastic, crazy, Sixth Sense kind of ending."

He added: "It's very different from anything I've ever done before - it's a very different type of film. I'm hoping that people can take this journey with me, I'm trying to expand as an actor."