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TV One On One Features Exclusive Will Smith Interview Just in Time for Independence Day

Wednesday June 15, 3:53 pm ET

Will Smith Talks With Host Catherine Hughes About His Multi-faceted Career, His Family, Why He Avoids Politics and His Role as an AIDS Awareness Ambassador

SILVER SPRING, Md., June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- It wouldn't be July 4th weekend without something new from movie and music superstar Will Smith, and this year TV One's got him -- in an exclusive interview with TV One on One host Catherine Hughes that premieres Thursday, June 30 from 8-9 PM (ET). The special will repeat on Friday, July 1 at midnight and Saturday, July 2 at 5 PM (all times ET).

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(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050615/DCW064 )

This wide-ranging interview with one of America's hottest box-office and music stars offers a glimpse at both the serious and light-hearted sides of Will Smith. Hughes and Smith cover subjects ranging from his multi-faceted music, television and motion picture career, his relationship with his parents, wife Jada Pinkett Smith and children, why he avoids politics and his passion for his role as an ambassador for AIDS awareness through Nelson Mandela's 46664 Foundation.

Hughes asks the versatile superstar, who entered show business successfully as a teenage rap artist and quickly became a television sensation in Fresh Prince of Bel-Air followed by a blockbuster movie career, whether he prefers being a movie star or a rapper. Smith, the first rap artist to receive a Grammy, says, "I want to be an artist ... It's important to me to make the statements and say the things that I feel in my heart and in my mind, and there's no better way to do that than in the world of music. What happens with the film world, you're more a tool for the director to realize his or her vision."

Smith recounts the story of his sojourn to the West Coast from Philadelphia, after his successful rap career as part of the Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince duo was sidetracked by a failed album. "I knew that whatever was going to happen for me, I felt it was going to be in Los Angeles," Smith said.

He started "hanging out" during tapings of Arsenio Hall and one night backstage met famed producer and talent manager Benny Medina, who contacted a very interested Quincy Jones with the concept for the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air series, and six weeks later they were shooting the pilot.

When Hughes asks him how he repeatedly receives a Nickelodeon Kids' Choice award and stays a favorite of kids even as he gets older and more mature, Smith said, "I think there's a very silly side of me that kids connect to," and he hasn't lost his boyish enthusiasm for sci-fi subjects like aliens and living in a world where robots rule. Plus, Smith points out, a whole new generation of kids is now watching Fresh Prince on Nick-at-Nite.

He tells Hughes that he thinks his best movie performance was in Ali, and described Ali director Michael Mann as "the most thorough person I've ever met in my life," and "if not a genius, as close [to one] as I've ever met."

Smith also talks about his role as an AIDS awareness ambassador and his trip with 10 high school seniors from his alma mater, Overbrook High in Philadelphia, to South Africa, where they met Nelson Mandela and traveled through Soweto.

In a surprise visit that has become the hallmark of TV One on One, Smith is visited by high school friend and long-time business partner J. L. Lassiter, his partner in Overbrook Entertainment. Lassiter talks about Smith's most recent movie, Hitch, a romantic comedy that met the challenge of breaking "down all those barriers and the conventional wisdom that African Americans can't perform in a romantic comedy."

About TV One

Launched in January 2004, TV One (http://www.tvoneonline.com) is offered in 21 million households, offering a broad range of lifestyle and entertainment-oriented original programming, classic series, movies, fashion and music designed to entertain, inform and inspire a diverse audience of adult African American viewers. TV One's investors include Radio One [(Nasdaq: ROIA; ROIAK) (http://www.radio-one.com)], the largest radio company that primarily targets African American and urban listeners; Comcast Corporation [(Nasdaq: CMCSA; CMCSK) (http://www.comcast.com)], the leading cable television company in the country; The DirecTV Group; Constellation Ventures; Syndicated Communications; Pacesetter Capital Group; and Opportunity Capital Partners.

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Cool interview, Tim. Nice point in there by Will about how a whole new generation is watching Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on Nick at Nite. Good point, it will help his worldwide popularity.

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cool, thnx Tim......SO glad i've got the TVOne channel, they have lots of features of Will and Jada on TVOne Access as well, so i'm sure they'll have good coverage of the BET awards when the time comes

Edited by willjadafan
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