How Willow Smith Helped Will Smith Fall Back In Love With Acting

Entertainment | 11/24/2015 | 12:45 PM EST

'She got me and shifted my focus from product to people.'

We have Willow Smith to thank for getting Will Smith back into the groove of things on the big screen. After taking a two-year hiatus, he says it was his famous daughter who shifted his focus, which allowed him to fall back in love with acting.

During The Hollywood Reporter's annual Actor Roundtable, the 47-year-old actor opened up about his personal and professional struggles that caused a strain in his career.

"In retrospect, I realize I had hit a ceiling in my talent. I had a great run that I thought was fantastic, and I realized that I had done everything that I could do with the 'me' that I had," Will said. He said he took time off to go to marriage counseling, read parenting books and reflect on his inner self.

And while self reflection helped Will get back on track, he said it was Willow who fueled his desire to act again. He continued:

"I really dived into me and then all of a sudden it was like, 'Oh!' And I found the connection. Your work can never really be better than you are, you know? Your work can’t be deeper than you are.

"[...] I have a 15-year-old daughter, and she got me and shifted my focus from product to people. It took a couple of years, but as soon as I got knocked off of product and started shifting to people, the whole world opened up for me again and acting opened up in a whole new way — to not go into day one of a movie trying to figure out what everybody has to do so we win, versus opening up and every person is a whole new world."

And lucky for Will (and us), he now says acting is a passion he can't live without.

"It was a pathology that broke for me a couple of years ago and I fell in love and then I couldn’t imagine what else I could do that could add so much to my life other than acting," he said. 

Will can be seen next in the NFL drama Concussion, hitting theaters Dec. 25.


(Photo: Janet Mayer / Splash News)

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