When Will Smith picked up Deadshot’s rifle in the DC supervillain movie Suicide Squad, it meant turning down a role Independence Day: Resurgence, the sequel to the alien action flick that helped propel him to stardom two decades ago.
How did he choose between the films? The star of the upcoming drama Collateral Beauty explained his decision during an interview at Facebook Headquarters on Thursday, saying he wants to “boldly go to new creation.”
“I had the two screenplays in front of me for the Independence Day 2 and for Suicide Squad. I had to choose between the two of those,” Smith said. “Even the choice of going to Suicide Squad — nothing about the qualities of the movie — but the choice of trying to go forward versus clinging and clawing backwards. I do want to aggressively go forward and do new things and create and hopefully be able to stumble upon a new heyday.”
Smith’s 1996 breakout as Capt. Steven Hiller saw him deliver the movie’s signature line. His character was killed off-screen in last summer’s sequel Independence Day: Resurgence.
Director Roland Emmerich previously addressed Smith’s decision to eschew the alien sequel in favor of the DC baddie movie, saying the actor told him he couldn’t do four sci-fi films in a row. (Emmerich’s original plan was to film two Indepence Day sequels back-to-back, and Smith had recently wrapped After Earth and Men in Black 3.)
During the Facebook interview, Smith also fielded questions about his new film and recalled his roles in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Bad Boys. See Smith’s entire Q&A session below, via Facebook Live. Collateral Beauty opens Dec. 16.