“You are not a movie star if your movies are only successful in America”: Will Smith Became Obsessed to Beat Tom Cruise After Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Life Changing Advice

“You are not a movie star if your movies are only successful in America”: Will Smith Became Obsessed to Beat Tom Cruise After Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Life Changing Advice
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Will Smith is one of those celebrities who was well-known before they made it big in Hollywood. He is one of the most recognized Black actors in the world and one of the most cherished in Hollywood. However, the actor’s stardom took a massive hit when he slapped Chris Rock during the Oscars 2022. The actor’s good deeds were forgotten and he was heavily criticized.

Will Smith

However, the actor was not so renowned back in the day and received a lot of advice in his career. But the words of encouragement by Arnold Schwarzenegger changed Will Smith as an actor.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Advice to Will Smith in 1996

Will Smith never feared hard work and became a workhorse, and while he received numerous pieces of advice early in his career, Schwarzenegger’s words touched him the most, so much that he was obsessed with it. 

Will Smith and Arnold Schwarzenegger

According to Will Smith’s memoir, it was back in 1996 when the actor’s career path changed. Smith was overseas at Planet Hollywood with three of the biggest actors in the industry such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Bruce Willis. The young actor asked The Terminator actor for some advice on how he can become the face of Hollywood. The Fresh Prince was told that he is not a movie star if his movies are only successful in the US. He can’t be a movie star if every person walking on the planet doesn’t know him. In order to do that he needs to think of himself as a politician who is trying to make it big in the industry.

“You are not a movie star if your movies are only successful in America. You are not a movie star until every person in every country on earth knows who you are. You have to travel the globe, shake every hand, kiss every baby. Think of yourself as a politician running for Biggest Movie Star in the World.”

The Austrian Oak meant this as words of encouragement, however, Will Smith soon developed an obsession to be the biggest star on the planet.


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Will Smith’s Obsession to Surpass Tom Cruise as a Global Star

Will Smith was obsessed to be a global name and to do so, he observed the career success of Tom Cruise on an international level. He quickly learned that Cruise put a lot of effort into promoting his films around the world. 

Tom Cruise and Will Smith

To topple Cruise from being a global star, Will Smith researched how much time the Jack Reacher actor invested, and Smith would try to double the time of his rival. In his memoir, Will Smith writes how much other actors hated traveling, and promoting their movies, and how it felt crazy to do such activities.


“I started to notice how much other actors hate traveling, press, and promoting. It seemed like utter insanity to me. I started quietly monitoring all of Tom’s global promotional activities. When I arrived in a country to promote my movie, I would ask the local movie executives to give me Tom’s promotional schedule. And I vowed to do two hours more than whatever he did in every country.”

The actor was going nuts as his promotional activities did not bear many results and he couldn’t become a global phenomenon.

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Background in Music Came in Handy for Will Smith

A background in music immensely assisted Will Smith to gain global popularity because this is something that Tom Cruise lacked. According to the actor, his music helped him in becoming a global icon, and he gained a massive fan following.

Will Smith played the role of Agent J
A still from Men in Black

“Tom couldn’t do that — neither could Arnold, Bruce, or Sly,” he said. “I’d found my way out of the entertainment news segment and into headline news. And once your movie moves from entertainment to news, it’s no longer a movie — it’s a cultural phenomenon.”

It is safe to say that the actor is now a global icon and has a net worth of over $300 million, with numerous awards, and nominations, that includes an Oscar. However, his greatest moment was spoiled by his actions. The actor has regretted his actions and underwent therapy, and is ready to make a comeback, hoping to revive his glorious career.

Source: Will by Will Smith


Written by Tushar Auddy

Articles Published: 983

Tushar Auddy, Content Writer. He has been in the entertainment industry for 3 years and is always on the lookout for a captivating story. He is a student of Linguistics and is currently pursuing his Master's degree in the same field. He has a passion for literature that runs deep and loves nothing more than getting lost in a novel for hours on end. When he isn't reading, you'll find him capturing the beauty of language.