Will Smith reveals the movie ‘After Earth’ was the “most painful failure” of his career.
After Earth was just a really bad movie. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan (Signs) it was a bomb in the box office. The movie received negative reviews from critics calling the acting performances were horrible and the movie lacked originality. Rolling Stone compared the movie to Battlefield Earth, describing the movie as “”an unholy mess of platitudes and posturing” that wastes the talents and charm of Will Smith.” In addition, writers alleged the movie was propaganda for the Church of Scientology, a religion Will Smith is an active member.
In a recent interview with Esquire, the actor revealed his true feelings about “After-Earth”.
Wild Wild West was less painful than After Earth because my son was involved in After Earthand I led him into it. That was excruciating. What I learned from that failure is how you win. I got reinvigorated after the failure of After Earth. I stopped working for a year and a half. I had to dive into why it was so important for me to have number-one movies. And I never would have looked at myself in that way. I was a guy who, when I was fifteen my girlfriend cheated on me, and I decided that if I was number one, no woman would ever cheat on me. All I have to do is make sure that no one’s ever better than me and I’ll have the love that my heart yearns for. And I never released that and moved into a mature way of looking at the world and my artistry and love until the failure of After Earth, when I had to accept that it’s not a good source of creation.
Will Smith pointed out that his father was diagnosed with Cancer immediately after he heard how poorly the movie did the box office, which forced him to put his life into perspective.
After Earth comes out, I get the box-office numbers on Monday and I was devastated for about twenty-four minutes, and then my phone rang and I found out my father had cancer. That put it in perspective—viciously. And I went right downstairs and got on the treadmill. And I was on the treadmill for about ninety minutes. And that Monday started the new phase of my life, a new concept: Only love is going to fill that hole. You can’t win enough, you can’t have enough money, you can’t succeed enough. There is not enough. The only thing that will ever satiate that existential thirst is love. And I just remember that day I made the shift from wanting to be a winner to wanting to have the most powerful, deep, and beautiful relationships I could possibly have.
At the end of the day Will Smith has gone a long way from asking why his father doesn’t love him on ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ to becoming one of Hollywood’s biggest and hottest names.
Will smith’s new movie Focus hits theaters on February 27th.