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Any interview with Will Smith inevitably turns out to be an audience with Will Smith.

The artist formerly known as the Fresh Prince is holding court and in the mood to entertain.

So when an attractive blonde journalist asks how he picks up women, he demonstrates - leaping off the podium and lifting the delighted girl (fortunately she is on the petite side) up in his arms and pecking her enthusiastically on the cheek.

Her question to the star, who is happily married to Matrix actress Jada Pinkett Smith, is not as leading as it might seem.

Because in his latest film Hitch, the 36-year-old actor, plays a man who is an expert in picking up women (in the romantic rather than literal sense).

Hitch is a smooth-talking "date doctor" who has made a career out of helping hopelessly lovelorn males win the hearts of beautiful women.

However, while Will, star of Independence Day, Men In Black and I Robot, may seem to have all the right tools for wooing the opposite sex - the looks, the career, the attitude - he admits he wasn't always this suave. "Goofy was the word most frequently used about me.

I was this tall (he is 6ft 2in) from age 12 and about half the weight I am now. As I started to fill out I gained a little more confidence."

However, Will's heart was broken at an early age in a traumatic incident.

"I was about ten years old and Stacy Brooks had promised me the last dance at a birthday party.

"I was there, I was ready. The DJ announces it is the last song and I turn round and she is on the dance floor with David Brandon. I've been scarred from that moment."

He is sufficiently recovered to count Stacy as one of his oldest friends - "we talk on the phone and our kids play together, so I've gotten over it."

Hitch's creed is that all women - no matter how career fixated they might be - are waiting to be swept off their feet.

"And it's not just women, it's men too," stresses Will. "We all want to be in love, to find that one person who will love us no matter what - no matter how our feet smell, no matter how angry we get some days.

I believe the idea in the movie that every guy has a shot at any woman. I think everybody has a quality that is loveable, it is just a question of finding that quality and illuminating it."

Will also thinks it is women who hold most of the cards when it comes to getting dates.

"They have more choices because any man will sleep with any woman. If a guy is single there is almost no woman that he won't find something attractive about."

Even Margaret Thatcher? "Well she is kind of sexy and strong."

Moving swiftly on, the recipient of Hitch's sage advice in the movie is Albert Brennaman (Kevin James), a short, portly, bespectacled accountant in love with a stunning heiress.

As part of his coaching, Hitch has to show Albert how to deliver the perfect first kiss.

"That was interesting," grins Will. "We shot it in New York and we did the scene with 250 New Yorkers standing around. This black guy, who looked like he might be homeless, walked up and as Kevin leaned in for the kiss, he screamed out 'Brother, no! Hell no! Uh Uh, Don't do that Will. Why would you do that?'

"We had security calm him down and explain it was just a movie."

Ironically what remains more of a cinematic taboo, even in these supposedly enlightened days, is the idea of a black

actor kissing a white actress. The compromise appears to be, and the one that Hitch has settled for - if only to protect itself at the box office - is for the woman to come from another ethnic background.

Eva Mendes, who plays the gossip columnist Hitch falls for, is Cuban American.

"There's sort of an accepted myth that if you have two black actors, a male and a female, in the lead of a romantic comedy, that people around the world don't want to see it," admits Will.

"We spend $50 something million making this movie and the studio would think that was tough on their investment. "So the idea of a black actor and a white actress comes up - that'll work around the world, but it's a problem in the US."

Hitch has a pleasantly oldfashioned feel to it. Though there is plenty of passion, it is confined to kissing rather than bedroom acrobatics.

Will confirms that he is comfortable with love scenes, if the script demands them, and so is his wife.

"Jada's done love scenes, she understands that it is not what it looks like. She knows the director's behind you saying 'put your leg over her thigh', there are 50 people sitting around and a grip eating a hot dog.

"The fact that everything with us is 100 per cent pure honesty makes it a lot easier."

The pattern was set from the early days of their romance as, when they first got together, she was coming out of a bad relationship while Will had just divorced his first wife Sheree Smith (by whom he has a son, Trey). . "Normally in the beginning it's all flowers and butterflies in the stomach. We didn't have time for any of that b******t.

"Everything that needed to go wrong went wrong very quickly. On our second date we went to this restaurant and the guy opens the door and goes 'Ah Mr Smith, Mrs Smith. Good to see you,' thinking Jada was my ex.

Though he can't recall the chat-up line he used when they first met, he does remember how he persuaded her to spend the rest of her life with him.

"We'd been on one or two dates then hadn't seen each other for a year. I'd just gotten divorced and I called her and said: "Hey Jada, this is Will." "Will who?" "Will Smith" "Hey, how are you doing?" "Are you seeing anybody right now?" "No" "Alright, cool. You're seeing me".

"That was February 19, ten years ago," he adds, smiling.

They married in 1997 and have two children, Jaden and Willow.

His own dating days firmly behind him, Will is now in a position to offer son Trey, who is 13 this year, advice on how to handle first love.

"I tell him you can't fall in love with every girl. You have to keep one as your friend because she will be the one who gives you the inside information."

The worst advice Will was ever given came from a man Will refers to as his "ghetto co-ordinator" from his home town of Philadelphia - Charlie Mack.

"He said 'what you wanna do is make 'em laugh and then you want 'em to see you knock somebody the f*** out. That's what I do. The whole night it's funny, funny, funny, then I'll go knock somebody the f*** out, because women need to feel safe when they are with you.'

"And it seems to work for him. He's about six or eight inches taller than me, a really big guy, and it's the most horrible advice I ever heard, but women, when they see him knock somebody out, they're all 'Oh Charlie'.

"I'm going 'what do you mean 'Oh Charlie?' He started that fight!'."

Though Will certainly knows how to take care of himself since learning to fight like Mohammad Ali for his Oscar-nominated portrayal of the boxer, he admits he is a laugher not a fighter.

"Comedy actually works better than muscles and cars and stuff like that. Because comedy is kinda sneaky. A woman wakes up and realises 'God, I really like him!' one day," he said.


*i thought this one was a bit funny :kekeke:...."Will who?" "Will Smith!"

Edited by willjadafan
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is Will the man or what? he's just f**kin everywhere! Jeez, i wish I were in his shoes. he's just larger than life. proud to be a fan of his.

he's right about his marraige. 100% hardcore no bullsh*ting honesty. that's why he and jada have been this long together. that's the secret yo. no secrets. talking about your fears and the whole works.

God bless Will yo!

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