As it happenedended1637275897

Will Smith in London: here’s everything from his revealing interview with Idris Elba

The actor was in London for an in-depth chat with Idris Elba

Elizabeth Aubrey
Thursday 18 November 2021 22:51
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<p>Will Smith poses at the ‘Bad Boys for Life’ launching photocall in Madrid on 8 January 2020</p>

Will Smith poses at the ‘Bad Boys for Life’ launching photocall in Madrid on 8 January 2020

Will Smith was in London tonight (18 November) for a special evening of conversation with Idris Elba and some special guests.

The night, ‘An Evening of Stories with Friends at the Savoy Theatre, London’, will see Smith open-up to Elba about his recent, candid memoir, Will.

A description of the evening said: “For the first time, Will Smith opens up fully about his life, tracing his learning curve to a place where outer success, inner happiness, and human connection are aligned.”

It continues: “Joined by special guests, this will be an unforgettable evening sharing the profound journey that self-knowledge brings, a reckoning with all that your will can get you and all that it can leave behind.”

The event saw Smith reflecting on his childhood with Elba, how he became the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, how he met Jazzy Jeff and how he coped with seeing domestic violence in his childhood.

You can see a full re-cap of the evening below.

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Will Smith recalls recording his first album with DJ Jazzy Jeff in London

Smith has recalled the time he came to London to record his first album with DJ Jazzy Jeff.

“It was the first thing I did in my life where I felt strong and I felt powerful,” Smith said of discovering and performing rap music.

“We recorded our first album at Battery Studios in London,” Smith remembered. “We stayed for three months in the Holiday Inn, Swiss Cottage,” he quipped, to laughs from the audience.

He recalls later signing with Jive Records and the influence DJ Jazzy Jeff had on his confidence and belief in himself.

Elizabeth Aubrey18 November 2021 20:26
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Will delivers a rap to his son

As Will Smith and Idris Elba discuss fatherhood, Smith broke off to deliver a rap to his first born son Trey, interspersed with comments from his memoir.

Smith described how he was “overwhelmed with responsibility” after his son was born and how he prayed to god to “please help [him] do it right,” such was his anxiety about fatherhood after his own childhood experiences.

Elizabeth Aubrey18 November 2021 20:32
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Geoffrey Butler is in the audience!

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s Geoffrey Butler aka Joseph Marcell is in the audience.

He’s just gotten a huge shout out from Smith who is now recalling some fond memories from his time on the show.

It’s safe to say fans in the audience are happy.

“It was a spectacular time in my life,” Smith recalls of his time on the show.

Elizabeth Aubrey18 November 2021 20:35
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Smith recalls his incredible audition for ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ with Quincy Jones

Will Smith recalled how he lost all his money a few years into his career after issues with his tax repayments.

“I was all the way back to broke,” Smith said, explaining that he had to start again from scratch.

On his road to recovery, he recalls meeting Quincy Jones who had invited him to his home.

“It was like the whose-who of Hollywood,” he remembers when he arrived at Jones’ home, remembering how he was in the middle of his birthday party full of famous guests like Steven Spielberg.

Smith recalls how, in the middle of the meeting with Jones, he asked him to audition for a part “that was going to affect the rest of his life” – in front of all the other guests.

Smith was reluctant at first and asked Jones to give him a week to prepare, to which Jones told him that he must do it now as “everyone needed to make the decision to offer [you] the part is in the room.”

Smith responded: “And I just said “f*** it, give me ten minutes.”

“I did the audition to a standard ovation,” Smith says – and the same day he was offered the role in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Elizabeth Aubrey18 November 2021 20:53
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Will Smith recalls death of father

Will Smith has recalled hearing the news that his father had just “six weeks to live” in 2016.

“It is a really interesting thing when somebody knows they’re dying. Like all of the foolishness gets out of the way. Every hello maybe so rich, because we knew it was a gift...every goodbye was so deep and thorough...because we knew it could be the last one,” he recalled to Elba.

Smith recalls the pain of seeing how “frail” his father became and making peace with him at the end of his life.

“We shared a laugh,” Smith says, a few weeks before he received a final call from his father on Face Time.

“The soldier [was] gone [in him],” Smith remembered. “He’s trying to find one last piece of wisdom, [but] he’s empty,” Smith said. “I could recognise that same scared little boy inside of him that was in me,” he added.

“What I learned was the real truth of what it means to love somebody [in that moment].”

Elizabeth Aubrey18 November 2021 21:18
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DJ Jazzy Jeff has arrived

Will Smith has reunited with DJ Jazzy Jeff for a song at the end of the show and the audience are on their feet.

A rendition of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song is getting a big response, as is “Summertime”.

Remember this?!

Elizabeth Aubrey18 November 2021 21:26
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ICYMI: How Quincy Jones helped Will Smith become the Fresh Prince

In case you missed it – here’s more about how Quincy Jones helped Will Smith on his way to becoming the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Will Smith says Quincy Jones saved him from being ‘broke’

Jones was a producer on ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’

Elizabeth Aubrey18 November 2021 21:44
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The Fresh Prince reunion everyone’s been waiting for

ICYMI:Will Smith shared a reunion with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star Joseph Marcell who played Geoffrey Butler this evening at the event in London.

Smith was on stage with Idris Elba discussing his new self-titled memoir when the discussion shifted to the sitcom that birthed his career as an actor.

At that point, it was revealed that Marcell was in the audience. The actor, who lives in the UK, stood up and received a huge round of applause from the audience. After a picture of the Fresh Prince cast appeared on the screen, Smith joked that Marcell had not aged since the show premiered over 30 years ago in 1990.

You can read more about the moment here:

Will Smith shares reunion with Joseph Marcell from Fresh Prince during live event

Smith sat down to discuss his new memoir at the Savoy Theatre with Idris Elba

Elizabeth Aubrey18 November 2021 21:47
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The Fresh Prince reunion everyone’s been waiting for

ICYMI:Will Smith shared a reunion with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star Joseph Marcell who played Geoffrey Butler this evening at the event in London.

Smith was on stage with Idris Elba discussing his new self-titled memoir when the discussion shifted to the sitcom that birthed his career as an actor.

At that point, it was revealed that Marcell was in the audience. The actor, who lives in the UK, stood up and received a huge round of applause from the audience. After a picture of the Fresh Prince cast appeared on the screen, Smith joked that Marcell had not aged since the show premiered over 30 years ago in 1990.

You can read more about the moment here:

Will Smith shares reunion with Joseph Marcell from Fresh Prince during live event

Smith sat down to discuss his new memoir at the Savoy Theatre with Idris Elba

Elizabeth Aubrey18 November 2021 21:47
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And another reunion...

Another reunion arrived in the shape of Will Smith teaming up with Jazzy Jeff on stage for a rendition of “Summertime” and more.

You can read all about that moment here:

Will Smith reunites with DJ Jazzy Jeff at London event hosted by Idris Elba

Smith and Jazzy Jeff performed together from 1984 to 1994

Elizabeth Aubrey18 November 2021 22:06

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