Ever since a picture of Will Smith bungee jumping made him look like Uncle Phil, we’ve been wondering about the Fresh Prince’s thoughts on it. Now he’s here to Phil us in.
It’s not just that photo that draws comparisons to his “Fresh Prince” days, though. Many fans think Smith’s mustache in the upcoming Netflix movie, “Bright,” is reminiscent of the look he sported when he pretended to be Ashley’s father in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”
At the “Bright” press conference at San Diego Comic-Con, HuffPost asked the actor about the comparisons. Smith burst out laughing.
“The mustache! I hated that mustache. That was so bad,” said Smith on his look in “Bright.”
We then brought up the bungee jumping video, saying, “I don’t know if you saw, but a lot of fans isolated one moment where they said you reminded them of ...”
“Uncle Phil!” said Smith, finishing our sentence.
The actor spoke on the comparisons, and got, dare we say, “Phil”-osophical about the interaction between fans and celebrities nowadays.
“It is such a new world,” he said. “I released my first record in ’86, so I’m over 30 years in the business. My first album there were no CDs, so it wasn’t until my second album, and they came like these hot new things called CDs. Seeing that transition, essentially the fans being more and more involved in the creative process. In terms of movie stars, it’s a huge difference. It’s like you almost can’t make new movies stars anymore.”
Smith continued, saying, “It’s like there’s a certain amount of privacy and there was a certain amount of distance that you had from the audience, and only on July 4th did you have access. So that amount of access created this bigger-than-life kind of thing. But in the shift into this new world, it’s almost like a friendship with the fans. The relationship is less like the time of Madonna, Michael Jackson, when you could make the Tom Cruise these gigantic figures, because you can’t create that anymore. The shift is to ‘we’re best friends,’ and that’s like with the comments and with those pictures and all that.”
“The shift is to 'we’re best friends,' and that’s like with the comments and with those pictures.”
On that change, Smith said, “I love trying to make that shift and make that transition into the new demands of the fans in this business.”
So yeah, your Uncle Phil photos may signal the death of movie stars as we used to know them. (R.I.P., Hollywood golden years.) But Will Smith is into it.
You can see the actor making the transition in his new movie, “Bright,” coming to Netflix in December.