How the Devil Did Will Smith End Up in ‘Winter’s Tale’? About That Cameo

Kara Warner
Senior Reporter
Yahoo Movies

There is a special surprise hidden in the movie "Winter's Tale" and it has nothing to do with how audiences will react to the fairy tale love story, or the fantasy of a flying horse, or the idea of a man who lives for 100 years and does not age a day.

This particular surprise is delivered via a cameo by an A-List actor who was definitely not billed among cast members Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Jessica Brown Findlay or William Hurt. That actor is Will Smith and in "Winter's Tale," he plays the Devil. Well technically his character in the movie is called "Judge," but we all know he's the Devil within the first minute of screen time in a scene with Russell Crowe's nefarious Pearly Soames, an evildoer who's trying to track down and destroy Farrell's character Peter Lake.

So how did Will Smith end up in this fairy tale romance? Yahoo Movies asked Oscar-winning screenwriter and first-time director Akiva Goldsman to give us the scoop.

"It was my [idea]," Goldsman said. "I think the Devil needs to be very charismatic, I know no one more charismatic than Will."

[Related: What’s Colin Farrell’s Secret to Great Movie Kisses? Inclement Weather]

The rest of the cast would have liked to have seen some of that charisma in person, but unfortunately for them the only actor who interacted with Smith in the movie was Russell Crowe.

"I didn't get to meet him, which I was really annoyed at," Findlay admitted. "I wanted to sing the "Fresh Prince [theme song]."

"Summer, summer, summertime!" Farrell added in song; he was also also apparently bummed he didn't get to sing with the Fresh Prince himself and also had yet to see an audience react to the surprise. "I don't know what the audience response is I have no idea. I'll find out when I buy my ticket on the 14th."

We assured Farrell that the moment Smith appears onscreen, we observed audible surprise from the audience.

"Good, it woke them up." he joked.

For those looking to see more of the Smith and Crowe's Devil dealings in "Winter's Tale," keep an eye out for the film's DVD/Blu-Ray release.

"I have much longer versions of those scenes which someday I'll release on DVD like it's own little movie because the two of them were just delightful," Goldsman promised. "Their interactions were extraordinary."