Will Smith is a movie star of such caliber that many people think he “transcends” race, yet finds himself in a “damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t” quandary with his latest film. On the one hand the stigma still exists that Hollywood has a hard time putting Smith in a film with a white female love interest in fears that it will “alienate” white audiences. It’s like Childish Gambino said, “The reason that they say I’m nothing what they seen or heard’s/the same reason Will Smith always opposite Latino girls“.
On the other hand, there are legions of African-American moviegoers who are feeling a way about Smith–yet again–being cast opposite a woman who is not Black.
From what I can tell, it’s true that Hollywood and some of America may still find the prospect of interracial dating, especially between blacks and whites, to be questionable, even offensive, just like they may believe that mono-racial relationships between anyone that isn’t white would be “alienating” in some way (we’re all human, aren’t we?). Even so, Will Smith has managed to power through all the hate, establishing himself as a huge box office draw no matter the skin color of his co-star (whenever he has one). Smith’s new heist flick Focus opens wide today (February 27), which he stars in alongside talented up and coming actress Margot Robbie. It’s going to make money regardless of how you might feel about Robbie and Smith as an interracial couple (and as a couple with 22 years between them…yeesh), but that air needed to be cleared.
There have been many instances where Smith has defied the conceptions of love across ethnic backgrounds and been romantically involved with black women to resounding box office success. Here are eight of them for your viewing pleasure. Salutes to love in all of its forms.
Independence Day w/ Vivica A. Fox (1996)
Enemy of the State w/ Regina King (1998)
Ali w/ Nona Gaye (2001)
Bad Boys II w/ Gabrielle Union (2003)
The Pursuit of Happyness w/ Thandie Newton (2006)
I Am Legend w/ Salli Richardson (2007)
Seven Pounds w/ Robinne Lee (2008)
After Earth w/ Sophie Okonedo (2013)