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Los Angeles Premiere of Warner Bros. PicturesÆ ôFocusö

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Despite the controversies that have surrounded him since Oscar night 2022 and his wife’s recent memoir, Will Smith still commands a big bag.

Variety reported that Smith was among the A-list stars who were paid $1 million and more to speak at the Red Sea International Film Festival that concluded Dec. 9. Smith joined fellow Oscar winner Halle Berry and actors Johnny Depp and Chris Hemsworth along with Michelle Williams and Gwyneth Paltrow in Jeddah in a bid to improve relations between the kingdom and Hollywood. Those were strained when Hollywood distanced itself from projects. Thereafter, Saudi government agents murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

But those issues seemed to have cooled enough for high-profile actors to return. It’s one of Smith’s highest-profile appearances since he slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars earning a 10-year ban from the Oscar’s governing body and the ceremony. He was also part of the Grammy tribute to hip-hop last weekend, which seems to show that Smith’s exile from Hollywood is coming to an end.

“Fame is a unique monster and I’ve had to be really careful,” he said during a talk at the festival. “You can’t get excited when everybody is saying good things about you. The more you take when people are saying good things about you, the more hurt you’re going to be when people are saying bad things about you.”

He used his appearance to provide some insight into the upcoming sequel to I Am Legend, which he’ll be starring in with Michael B. Jordan.

“We’re really close,” he said of the Creed actor and director. “I am probably giving up too much information… the script just came in,” he said. Smith also explained how the sequel will address that his character, Dr. Robert Neville, died in the first movie. “We’re going with the mythology of the DVD version where my character lives and I can’t tell you anymore.”

Smith also performed with DJ Jazzy Jeff at a music festival in Saudi Arabia, as he documented on his social media account. While traveling back home he got on an Emirates flight with Kanye West.

Will Smith Explains His Character’s Revival In ‘I Am Legend 2’ Alongside Michael B. Jordan
Will Smith I Am Legend
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