Will Smith shares acting advice he would give to his younger self

In the 90s Will Smith had earned the nickname Mr. July for starring two hit movies that came out around the 4th of July. Then in 1999, Will smith returned the next year with “Wild, Wild West” after 1996’s and 1997 hit movies “Independence Day” and “Men in Black”, respectively.

The western comedy made money, but not as much money as the previous flicks and the movie reviews were horrible. Even Will Smith has regrets about starring in the movie.

During Tuesday’s episode of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”, Smith was asked to name a piece of advice he would give to his younger self.

“Hey man, don’t do Wild Wild West,” he replied. “I would say, ‘Dude, do Neo,’ because I got offered The Matrix.” Cue the groans from the audience. “How do you think I feel?”

Smith turned down the lead role in “The Matrix” because the project was  “difficult concept to pitch [and in] the pitch, I just didn’t see it… [There’s a] fine line in a pitch meeting between genius and what I experienced in the meeting.” 

That said “Wild Wild West” did not destroy Smith’s acting career. He’s just no longer referred to as Mr. July.

Check out the video above.

After filming in Georgia, Gemini Man hits theaters on October 11th