Inside Will Smith's Relationship With Barack Obama

Will Smith was only 26 years old when he first expressed his desire to become president of the United States. At the time, he had just come off a string of hits, including the flick that solidified him as a Hollywood leading man, "Independence Day." At the time he told Variety, "Give me 10 years and I'll make it, provided I can squeeze in an NBA championship before that." Perhaps he was only joking at the time and he may have not made it to the NBA, but the millionaire eventually formed a friendship with an actual president, Barack Obama, who served the country from 2008 to 2016.


Before Obama even became president, Smith had a brush with the presidency back in 1999, when the Clintons invited him to the White House to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom. "I told Bill that he should keep my room warm," Smith told The Daily News (via Variety). "That might sound foolish to some, but, in my mind, if Ronald Reagan can become president, then why not Will Smith?"

Barack Obama gave Will Smith the OK to play him in a film

When Barack Obama became president, Will Smith became a fan and in August 2016, towards the end of Obama's second term, he told Stephen Colbert on "The Late Show" that the president had given him permission to one day play him in a movie about his life.


"We have talked about it a couple of times," Smith told Colbert, and then joked, "Me and B was hollering about it the other day. He said the one thing is for sure; I have the ears to play him," (via Showbiz Cheatsheet). 

Indeed, Smith did meet with Obama in February of that year at a political fundraiser, according to Politico. The president was in Los Angeles to tape an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and to attend an event. He later took a private meeting with Smith, who had once again expressed an interest in politics to The Hollywood Reporter a few months prior, after observing what the state of American politics was becoming in late 2015.

"You know, as I look at the political landscape, I think that there might be a future out there for me," Smith said. "They might need me out there. This is the first year that I've been incensed to a level that I can't sleep, you know? So I'm feeling that at some point, in the near future, I will have to lend my voice to the conversation in a somewhat different way." 


Will we see a President Smith one day? Time will tell.