Will Smith is generally known, at least to fans in Hollywood, as a congenial and level dude with a pretty solid disposition as far as major celebrities go. That’s a reputation that’s served him well over the years. And honestly, doesn’t appear put on at all. The megastar seems like someone most people could get along with. So it’s fitting that even when there’s a story about him striking another dude, it can turn into something funny rather than a couple of guys throwing down. That appears to be the case with Anthony Mackie’s story about Will Smith punching him in the face.
Look, usually when you hear a guy punched another guy in the face, it would stand to reason that someone was getting in trouble or that major fisticuffs went down. But not this time, probably because it’s Will Smith we’re talking about. As Anthony Mackie tells it, he was on hand for Smith’s 50th birthday party in Budapest (where do you have your b-day parties?) and was tasked with bringing out the cake for the birthday boy.
As they walked across the stage to greet each other there was some bro-like miscommunication about the greeting. Mackie went in for a hug while Will Smith went in for a high five. The differing ideas about who was going where for the hello led to Smith actually hitting Mackie with a right cross instead of the high five. To hear Mackie tell it, the blow was more than just your standard graze across the face because two guys were thinking different things. He says Smith tagged him pretty good.
It’s worth noting that though Mackie took one straight to the chin, he wasn’t mad at Will Smith. Seems he understood that it was a mistake all things considered. And I suppose even for a Hollywood star like Mackie, getting punched by an even bigger star is tantamount to a great story more than anything else. Something closer to a humble brag than an actual tale of woe.
When he isn’t punching other A-list actors in the mouth, Will Smith is generally known to be one of the hardest working guys in Hollywood and that hasn’t really changed over the years. He’s still got plenty of work in the pipeline including a couple of anticipated sequels. The first is Bright 2, a follow up to the Netflix police/ urban fantasy mash-up from a few years ago that put Smith in a world in which elves and orcs are part of everyday life. It was mostly a bomb with critics, but the bones of a very cool idea were there. Expecting something from the sequel isn’t too much to ask.
And of course, Will Smith still has some more coming from his Mike Lowrey character. Bad Boys 4 has been announced and will carry on the actor’s most successful franchise. Alongside Martin Lawrence, the Bad Boys movies have earned more than $800 million at the box office through their first three films.
So sure, Will Smith punched another movie star in the face. But while for most stars this would cause some career upheaval, for Smith it was just a mistake and something to cause a laugh.