Even the most magnetic and assured actors occasionally struggle with insecurities, particularly when it comes to going through physical changes for their roles. Robert Downey Jr., who is renowned for having an attractive chiseled physique, struggled with such insecurity while undergoing one such body change. Moreover, Will Smith, a seasoned member of the entertainment industry, observed the Iron Man actor’s insecurity, expressed sympathy for him, and blamed The Wolverine star Hugh Jackman for it.
Contrary to popular belief, celebrities experience the same kinds of everyday insecurities as common people. During his previous interview with Esquire, Smith emphasized the significance of realizing the impact that other actors can have on one another in order to go through a physical transformation for the role. The conversation spanned a wide range of subjects, including basketball, his children, and his own body transformation.
When Will Smith Blamed Hugh Jackman’s Body Fat Percentage
Will Smith, 55, opened up about a variety of topics in a previous interview with Esquire, including basketball, his kids, Hugh Jackman’s body fat, and, yes, long-term body image insecurities.
The Academy Award-winning actor liked to “look good”, but more than anything, he said, he liked “his body to function well”. As he went on:
“For me, it’s as spiritual and intellectual as it is physical. And emotional. I’m a better husband, I’m a better father, if my body is physically functioning at the highest possible levels. I enjoy pushing myself. There is nothing like having to change your physical form to put you in contact with every weak part of yourself, to train yourself in discipline. You get confronted with all of the things you’ll be confronted with in your marriage, confronted with in your parenting, confronted with in your job.”
The expectation that actors like Robert Downey Jr. will physically transform into iconic characters frequently goes hand in hand with the demand for that to occur. Hugh Jackman was blamed by Smith for having an impressively low body fat percentage when the interviewer recalled how the Oppenheimer actor was concerned about changing his body when they first met. The father of three told Esquire:
“That damn Wolverine. That’s as good as it gets right there. I’m going for him. I’m going for Hugh Jackman. His body fat had to be around 4.”
Will Smith Discussed His Inspiration For Fitness Transformations
Will Smith opened up in a candid interview with Esquire about the significant changes his body underwent for various roles. He highlighted the remarkable changes he went through between the two roles, claiming that he dropped from 225 pounds for Ali to 183 pounds and had just 6% body fat for I Am Legend:
“I got up to 225 for Ali. I was 183 for I Am Legend. It was 6 percent for I Am Legend, but that’s way down. So 183 to 225 is a huge shift.”
Smith characterized the experience as excruciating on both an emotional and physical level (via Esquire):
“Emotionally, physically. Learn how to box, learn how to do an accent, and we were on multiple continents making the movie. But I had dinner with Nelson Mandela and Muhammad Ali. I would say that was probably the high point of my career.”
During one of the previous episodes of the Red Table Talk, the 55-year-old talked about the physical changes he made for one of his movies. The King Richard star remembered the Instagram photo of his “dad bod” that he posted in May 2021 and how that photo was taken just before he started losing weight:
“I posted the out of shape, the dad bod picture. The dad bod picture was my beginning of preparation to lose weight for Peter. I was probably 225-ish when I started, and at the lowest on the movie, I got to 195.”
Smith was making a reference to the movie Emancipation, in which he played the role of Peter, a former slave who managed to escape from Louisiana after nearly being killed. The movie was based on a real event.
The actor continued by stating how crucial it was for him to change his physical appearance in order to fit his role as he shared on Red Table Talk:
“For me, the physicality is a big part of what makes people go: ‘Whoa’. To be able to transition and manipulate your body as an actor is a big part of the suspension of disbelief for people.”
He added that another factor contributing to his weight loss was the movie’s setting, which included “being out in the swamps”.
“It’s hot, it’s nasty. You’re actually in the swamp, so your hands are dirty so you don’t really want to grab food and eat.”
Smith is currently working on Adil & Bilall’s untitled fourth Bad Boys film. It is the fourth installment in the Bad Boys franchise and the sequel to Bad Boys for Life (2020).