Will Smith isn’t a celebrity prone to giving discursive, wide-ranging interviews. So when one happens, it’s worth tuning in to hear the megastar’s thoughts and opinions. Smith recently sat down with TIDAL’s Rap Radar podcast to discuss his new Instagram presence (“Social media demands authenticity”), Kanye (“He’s making people think”), and his progress on a new album (“I’m in the studio now and I have real things to say”).
Smith goes through many of his career highlights as well, including “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, but none of the usual suspects claim the peak of Smith’s career — if you ask Jay-Z, that is. In the rapper’s opinion, Smith will never do better than the time he slapped a Russian prank reporter.
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Several years ago, fake reporter Vitalii Sediuk was “pranking” celebrities left and right. That includes punching Brad Pitt, attacking Kim Kardashian and Gigi Hadid, and giving Madonna hydrangeas for some reason. Sediuk basically took Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat character too seriously and adopted the persona as his own.
When Smith was promoting Men In Black 3, Sediuk tried kissing the actor on the red carpet. Smith promptly dealt with the prankster, delivering a swift backhand to end their exchange.
After the incident, Smith recalled checking his phone, still seething from what went down. “I get back and I’m pissed that somebody thinks because you’re famous, they get to do whatever they want to do to you,” he said. “So I’m in my room and I had ten urgent messages from Jay-Z.”
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“So I call him and say, ‘What’s up?’ He sounds winded,” Smith laughed, imitating Jay-Z’s voice. “He said, ‘I just saw the video of you slapping the dude in Russia. I just want you to know, you’ll never make a better piece of entertainment. It’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.’ He said, ‘Me and Bey, we got a show tonight, and we’re thinking about cancelling it and just staying in and watching you slap this dude.’”
You can hear the rest of the story and the interview below.