Will Smith Says Quincy Jones Saved Him From “Bankruptcy”
Will Smith has credited Quincy Jones with saving him from “bankruptcy.”
At the time, Smith was struggling financially due to fiscal problems and Jones invited him to a party at his home that was also attended by Steven Spielberg.
On stage in London at an event with Idris Elba to promote his eponymous memoir, Smith stated that Jones asked him to audition for a role in front of guests and assured him that this “would affect the rest of his life.”
Smith commented that he was reluctant to audition because he was not an actor and begged Jones to let him prepare for a week, but the music producer behind classic albums like Bad Michael Jackson refused.
He added that Jones told him he had to audition right there because “everyone had to make the decision to offer you [a ti] the paper in the room ”.
That role went to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the comedy that would catapult Smith’s acting career, since until then he was known as a rapper.
Smith agreed to perform in front of everyone and said he received a “standing ovation” from the audience.
Later that day, he was offered the lead role in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Avery and Smith in ‘The Prince of Bel-Air’
At the same event, Smith also met his co-star from Fresh Prince, Joseph Marcell, who turned down great applause from the audience at the Savoy Theater.