In their list Will Smith comes in at #2. Here’s why….
Role: Non-threatening black police officer with an attitude. Oh HELL naw!
The Movies: Bad Boys I and II, Enemy of the State, Independence Day, Wild Wild West, Men in Black I and II, I Robot,
The History: In Bad Boys, Will Smith enters a house while calling out, âDonât be alarmed weâre black people!â? And white America was shocked to find that they actually werenât alarmed. If you need a black actor to pull in the âurban youthâ? demographic for your blockbuster action movie, but donât want the R-rating and scared white people that hiring Samuel L. Jackson will render inevitable, you canât do much better then Will Smith. With all the slick, â90s-style attitude that a board of out-of-touch movie producers can scrounge up, Smith, or the Tiger Woods of action stars (as known by his white fans), can one-liner and dazzling-grin his way through any tough situation, without scuffing his prominently displayed Converse sneakers. Whether heâs playing a police officer, a Wild West police officer, an alien-fighting police officer or a robot-fighting police officer, you can count on Smith to look cool without making white people worry that heâll date their daughter.
The Verdict: Smith has made some smart career choices lately, breaking away from his Fresh Prince persona with movies like Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness. The new trend isnât all good news though, since he played an ultra-romanticized hero who triumphed against all odds in both of those films. And, with an upcoming movie called I am Legend, we have to wonder whether Smith might be shifting into a Tom Cruise-grade phase of narcissistic delusion.