Will Smith on Dubai, Islamophobia and Donald Trump
Will Smith visits Dubai all the time. He can’t get enough of the place, which is good news for us because he revealed today that he hopes to soon make a movie in the Middle East about the Middle East.
Why? Because he wants to help teach his home country more about the region, saying we can’t let Fox News be the only voice about the Middle East in the US.
Here’s what else he said while chatting to the media at Vox in Mall of the Emirates (we have it on good authority that he’ll be here for a few more days, so keep an eye out folks!).
ON WHY HE LOVES DUBAI
“Dubai dreams the way I dream, when I landed I was like, ‘that’s how I would build a city if I was making a city’. It really flows with who I am,” he said of the emirate.
“I came for the first time about 15 years ago, and they said ’40 per cent of the world’s cranes were in Dubai’ and the entire skyline was cranes.
“You never know why a city speaks to you… it’s just the energy of progress here.”
He used Dubai’s ‘biggest’ and ‘greatest’ cinemas as an example of why he loves the city: “The theatres [here] you know… have to be the best in the world, not on par with other theatres, but the best. I love that energy.”
WHAT HE LIKES TO DO WHEN HE’S IN DUBAI
“Well my squad over at Skydive Dubai… I brought my kids here and we jumped together and I’ve jumped probably five times at Skydive Dubai.
“I love playing golf here, there are some of the best golf courses in the world.”
He’s also impressed with our wifi: “My daughter was here a few months ago and it was the most beautiful thing, she FaceTimed me from out in the desert on a camel. I thought that was so beautiful, the cross of the technology with the old style of transportation. It was such a beautiful thing. The wifi is really great in Dubai!”
WOULD HE SHOOT A MOVIE IN DUBAI?
“I’ve had a couple of ideas, a couple of film concepts that came through. I’ve met with the [Dubai] Film Commission a few times. I love it here and I’d love to be a part of the mining of stories from this region.
“A big part of America and the impression of America from the 1940s that was sent out to the world was Hollywood. Hollywood was the picture of America. So for me when I come to the Middle East and I’m so inspired by the beauty and the culture, it is not represented in world cinema. So I’ve spoken to many members of the community about getting the children and the filmmakers of the region into the global stream. It’s a wonderful opportunity that I’d love to be a part of.
“The Middle East can’t allow Fox News to be the arbiter of its imagery. Cinema is a huge way to be able to deliver the truth of the soul of a place to a global audience.”
ON ISLAMOPHOBIA & AMERICAN POLITICS
Click to play…
ON DONALD TRUMP & MARRIAGE COUNSELLING
ON CRITICS PANNING SUICIDE SQUAD
“Suicide Squad is breaking global box office records everywhere so it’s already been my biggest opening weekend and it’s on course to be the biggest film of my career. So I’m excited about that.
“In terms of critics, at this point in my career my mind is beyond critics or even box office success. I feel like as an artist I can’t allow myself to be consumed by that because it affects my decisions too much… it taints your artistic delivery. I want to give myself more freedom as an artist to create the things that work for me…. at this point in my career I’ve earned the right to fail. Some movies will be critically acclaimed, some will make money and some will be Wild Wild West.”
WILL HE DO A SUICIDE SQUAD SEQUEL?
“Yes if the studio decides they want to make another one I absolutely would be involved. This cast is absolutely insane. It’s the wildest, most raucous bunch of actors I’ve ever worked with in my life. I would have to hurry up and work with them again before I’m too old to hang with them.”
ON NELSON MANDELA & DISCRIMINATION AGAINST BLACK MEN IN THE MEDIA
“I have to live a certain way and be a certain way. It’s less about talking about it and more about being it,” he explained.
And then he said this: