RadioOnFire.com - Will Smith is one of the best follows on social media. Recently, he released a video on his YouTube channel derailing how he landed his iconic role in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. According to Smith, the opportunity didn’t come until after he found himself in trouble with the IRS.
“Before I was in trouble with Uncle Phil, I was in trouble with Uncle Sam,” Smith said. “Me and Jeff had come out with a smash hit. We made a bunch of money; we won a Grammy, album was triple platinum. I had motorcycles and cars. I called the Gucci store in Atlanta, and I was like, ‘Hey, will y’all close it down if I bring my friends?"
“We released our next album, and it was, like, a flop,” He went on to say. “It was a tragedy, it went, like, double plastic. I had spent all my money, and I didn’t forget, but I didn’t pay the IRS. The IRS took all that stuff, so I was like, broke, broke, broke. Being famous and broke is a s----y combination."
He said his then-girlfriend talked him into going on the Arsenio Hall Show to try and meet with other creators in Hollywood to help turn his career around. “I went to the Arsenio Hall Show, and I met a dude named Benny Medina. Benny Medina is the real-life Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” Smith said.
Medina introduced Smith to Quincy Jones, who was producing the show with him. In December 1989, Smith went to Jones’ home to audition.
His performance impressed him enough that Jones demanded his lawyers draw up a contract for Smith to play the lead in "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air."
“We took a picture, and we signed the basic deal for Fresh Prince, and three months later we were shooting the pilot, and that’s the story of how I became the Prince of Bel Air,” Smith recalled.
He added, “The moral of the story is always say yes, and I guess listen to your girlfriend.”