Rapper-turned-actor Will “the Fresh Prince” Smith is a star that managed to establish a number of TV and film roles that are iconic of his acting style and are closely integrated to him, the persona. He started out as his namesake lead in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” then emerging to blockbuster stardom first as a Marine pilot in the 1996 alien invasion film “Independence Day,” and as one of the “Men in Black” the following year. These movies were big at the box office, but now they have been exceed by Smith’s most recent role; and he was not even the originator for it.
As Disney’s live-action remake of their 1993 animated classic “Aladdin” crossed the $900 million global box office milestone and stands to go further, it also became the biggest movie of Will Smith’s film career. PEOPLE states earnings have surpassed the actor’s prior high point of “Independence Day.” Over the weekend, Smith posted a video of himself on Instagram talking about the achievement and what it meant for his time as an actor. He expressed that he was both “humbled and proud” that “Aladdin” has gone on to reach the heights it did, as well as having him be a part.
In addition to greeting the international movie-going crowd in about a dozen different languages (including those of the major cinematic markets like China), Smith also briefly reminisced about his career. ““To be in this game as long as I’ve been in this game, and to have my biggest movie at this point in my career, I just want to say thank you,” the star noted. On his caption for the Instagram video he had a cheeky reference to the remake’s one new song, stating that his new career record left him “Speechless.” His “Aladdin” costar Naomi Scott was one of the many celebrities that congratulated him on the comments, including Luis Fonsi of “Despacito” fame.
Will Smith’s role on the live-action “Aladdin,” which premiered last May 24, is the Genie of the lamp that falls in the possession of Aladdin (Mena Massoud), granting the “Street Rat” three wishes to change his life. The Genie in the 1993 version was voiced by the late comedy great Robin Williams, leading to original-fan dissatisfaction with Smith in his earlier casting. The film proper, which shows him take some cues from Williams’ original characterization but making the role truly his own, was eventually praised.
Image courtesy of The Wrap