Will Smith recounted his meandering path from Philadelphia to Bel-Air in a Thursday video, describing the one life-changing moment that made him a star.
After Smith's first hit record, when he was rapping as The Fresh Prince alongside DJ Jazzy Jeff, the hip-hop duo hit some hard times. In his telling, Smith spent all his money on cars and motorcycles before his second album "flopped," and that's when he ran into some trouble with the IRS. He "didn't forget" to pay his taxes, exactly, but ruthless Uncle Sam came and took his belongings anyway to make up the difference, Smith said.
A broke and downtrodden Smith went to appear on The Arsenio Hall Show after his girlfriend insisted he get out of the house and, well, "do something." A chance meeting there led him to producer Quincy Jones, who wanted Smith to audition for a new show he had in mind. Instead of a traditional network audition process, Jones wanted Smith to audition in his living room, right then and there.
"You could take 10 minutes, right now, and you can change your life forever," Jones told Smith, the actor said. Smith bucked up and "let it rip," leading to an NBC contract for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air — and the rest is history. Watch Smith tell the full, hilarious story below. Summer Meza