Undeniably one of Hollywood’s most lucrative actors, Will Smith is such a recognizable international brand that his self-titled autobiography is simply “Will.”
He vividly shares his childhood experiences in a fairly broken home with an alcoholic parent yet a loving family equipped with the means to travel most summers domestically. While growing up on the south side of Philadelphia, Smith had exposure to a tremendous set of experiences that empowered him with confidence and a larger horizon.
When Smith reflects on obstacles or challenges throughout the book, he repeatedly invokes language, indicating he’s fairly steeped in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) tools. Ironically, however, he almost always has an excuse or defense where his mistake was not his fault. He also makes nearly everything about him - not his loved ones, family, or children - lending credibility to the stereotypical egomaniac superstar.
He goes through the motions of vulnerability, but the final product is paragraphs of bragging and faux moralizing.
One of the book’s highlights is Smith's personal interactions with Muhammad Ali and Nelson Mandela during filming on respective projects. These encounters provide a unique insight into the lives of two of the most influential figures of the 20th century.
For those who grew up with Smith’s rap, acting, and general stardom, his autobiography will reveal tidbits and details of the entertainment world you likely missed and provide a tour-de-force of ’90s nostalgia.