No Regrets: Will Smith Says He ‘Did Y’all A Favor’ By Turning Down This Iconic Film Role

during the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 25, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

No Regrets: Will Smith Says He ‘Did Y’all A Favor’ By Turning Down This Iconic Film Role

One can only imagine.

Published February 14, 2019

Will Smith is continuing to make a conscious effort at taking over all of social media, and lately he's taken his talents to YouTube, where he opened up about turning down a major film role in a "story time."

Putting on his "influencer" hat, Smith said that he actually turned down the lead role of Neo in The Matrix simply because he didn't understand what it was about.

While giving some context, he started by saying that he was fresh off of his stints in the late 1990s films Independence Day and Men in Black, with him agreeing to star in the latter although he was already being dubbed the "alien movie guy" from the first.

When he was approached, however, by the Wachowskis to star in The Matrix, he began doubting himself as his previously voiced fears of being typecast were being realized and, on top of that, he just didn't understand the premise when it was being pitched.

This isn't the first time the A-list star has shared this story. According to Digital Spy, back in the early 2000s, he expounded on his reasoning.

"I didn't get it when I read it," he said. "It's a hard movie to pitch. You know: 'Everybody lives inside a computer.' It was only when I saw it that I really got it."

While he added that he wishes he had given the role a shot, he stressed that Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne did amazingly in the film.

"If I had done it because I'm Black, then Morpheus wouldn't have been Black 'cause they were looking at Val Kilmer," he said. "So, I probably would have messed The Matrix up. I did y'all a favor.'"

Take a look at his full explanation, below:

Written by Moriba Cummings

(Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)


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