Will Smith might not seem like the most relatable Hollywood star: After all, he’s a got a gazillion dollars, nearly zero percent body fat, and (probably) a helipad made out of ivory and Fabergé. But as it turns out, the 46-year-old actor has at least one thing in common with us pleb-level moviegoers: He once fell in a love with Stockard Channing.
In a new interview with Esquire, Smith says that he got too wrapped up in the making of his 1993 film Six Degrees of Separation, in which he plays a con man who becomes close to a wealthy New York city couple (Channing, who’s nearly 25 years older than Smith, stars as one-half of the couple). Smith told the magazine he spent days and nights in-character for the role, with unexpected results: "I got a taste early of the dangers of going too far for a character," he told the magazine. "My character was in love with Stockard Channing’s character. And I actually fell in love with Stockard Channing."
Movie stars fall for each other all the time — after all, even Rock Hudson lost his heart to Doris Day — but Smith’s crush apparently took a long time to recover from. “So the movie was over, and I went home, and I was dying to see Stockard,” he said. “I was like, ‘Oh no! What have I done?’ That was my last experience with Method acting, where you’re reprogramming your mind.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Smith elaborates further on the fallout from his 2013 flop After Earth, which he calls “the most painful failure of my career.” He also discusses his envy for Hugh Jackman’s jacked-up physique: “That damn Wolverine. That’s as good as it gets right there. I’m going for him. I’m going for Hugh Jackman.” And after that, maybe he’ll finally take out that darn Kenickie.