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Will Smith Regrets Chasing Stardom, Not Art

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Richard Bord/Getty Images(CANNES) — Despite the millions Will Smith has made from his box office hits, the actor said he has his regrets about his film career. At a Cannes Lion panel on Tuesday, Smith expressed his regret in chasing fame rather than upholding his artistic integrity, pointing specifically to movies like Wild Wild West.

Smith has found great success in his movie career for a range of different projects. Both his turns on blockbusters like Men in Black and acclaimed dramas like The Pursuit of Happiness have earned him widespread respect. But Smith admitted his appetite for super-stardom influenced some of his career decisions.

“I had so much success that I started to taste global blood and my focus shifted from my artistry to winning,” Smith said at the panel, according to Entertainment Weekly. He then referred to the Wild Wild West era as a “lag,” explaining that he “found [himself] promoting something because [he] wanted to win versus promoting something because [he] believed in it.”

Though the film managed to earn about $222 million, it was bashed by critics and awarded five “Razzie” nominations.

Smith said his friend and mentor Muhammad Ali was a source of inspiration that helped him come to the realization. “He was unwilling to compromise for money, accolades, he was living his values rich or poor,” he said.

Since the Wild Wild West days, Smith said he has tried to exercise more discretion in selecting his projects.

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