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It’s been a busy comeback for Will Smith. The former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air took the last four years out of the spotlight in order to focus on his family, doing just a bit of producing on the side, but now he is jumping back into the business headfirst.
“When you stay away from acting for awhile, it’s like a muscle. You get out there and you look stupid. You’ve got to warm up a little bit,” the 43-year-old actor said candidly.
Will’s warm-up was reprising his role as Agent J in the third installment of Men in Black, co-starring with Tommy Lee Jones as anonymous government agents protecting the world from always-imminent alien invasion.
“I haven’t worked in years, so I wanted to put on some shoes that fit,” Will said about playing Agent J again.
As he works on strengthening his “acting muscle” again, Will can keep his eye on the competition while brushing his teeth in his boxers, as his 13-year-old Jaden is a rising star in Hollywood and may be soon be competing against his dad for leading roles in major films.
“Jaden is probably the one of my kids who looks at me like I’m meat,” Will said, probably only half joking. “He’s like, ‘I’m coming for you. You have no idea!’ He’s looking across the dinner table at me.
“I tell him all the time, ‘Son, listen. I’m going to teach you everything I know. You’ll work hard and, y’know, you’ll be the second biggest movie star in the world!”
Will only jokes about being competitive with his son, however, as he clearly wants to see him succeed as an actor. The Hollywood work Will did do while on his hiatus the past few years was to help Jaden further his career. Will oversaw the production of Jaden’s latest starring role, the remake of The Karate Kid in 2010, where Jaden costarred with Jackie Chan.
“My most natural lane is producing,” Will said. “I learned a lot of valuable lessons on The Karate Kid. Working on a remake is interesting in that you start with hindsight, so for me that was very informative.”
Jaden’s first movie role was a cameo in Men in Black II in 2002. His breakthrough role, however, came four years later in The Pursuit of Happyness, where he played Will’s on-screen son. Jaden wowed audiences and won an award for the Best Breakthrough Performance at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards. Jaden also starred in the 2008 remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still.
Jaden has also tried his hand at rapping and rapped a duet with Justic Bieber in the song “Never Say Never.”
With Jaden’s career clearly established and ready to take off as soon as the perfect role comes around – or he gets a little older and can start playing the leading man, as he is clearly going to be a looker like his father – Will can focus once again on his own career. It will be fun to watch the multi-talented Smith family take over the spotlight in the coming years. Perhaps only Brad and Angie’s brood is big enough to outshine the Smiths, should Brandgelina’s kids chose to take over Hollywood the way their parents have.