Review of ‘Will’ by Will Smith and Mark Manson

I happened to be reading Will Smith’s autobiography when his behaviour at the Oscars made the headlines, behaviour which (the book reveals) is not really that much out of character. But this review is of the book, not the person, so I ‘will’ tell you about the book now.

An interesting, if selective, insight into his life and beliefs, this memoir focuses mainly on his youth; at the halfway point we are still on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. It ends quite oddly, with him about to do a bungee jump from a helicopter for his 50th birthday. I liked the book as it had a lot of anecdotes and humour. It skimmed over much of his work, choosing to focus on a few examples which mean the most to him. There are lots of photos too.

What I did not enjoy were the self-help psychology bits (I assume those are Mark Manson’s). They jarred with Will’s narrative voice, they were dull to read and so I skipped them.

I would recommend the book if you want to learn more about Will Smith in his own words. It’s not going to tell you everything about him and of course it’s only what he wants you to know, but if you’re curious, give it a read.

First published in 2021.

8 thoughts on “Review of ‘Will’ by Will Smith and Mark Manson”

  1. When I saw this I was like ” what a synchronization!” He’s not necessarily my favorite actor, but from some of his interactions and interviews, I would be interested into him as a person. The fact that he skimmed through his work (which I did not expect) and chose to focus on him as an individual is something I appreciate and would be curious about.

    1. Thanks for your comment! The book is actually quite long for a ‘celebrity memoir’ so it’s quite surprising how selective it is.

    1. Yes it was an odd coincidence, I had reserved the book from the library some time ago and had finally got around to reading it. Thanks!

  2. The only film I’ve ever seen with him in (I mean, of course I watched Fresh Prince as a kid) was Six Degrees of Separation. I’d almost pick up that book just to see if he talks about making that wonderful movie.

    1. He does talk about the film in the book, I haven’t actually seen the film but it was still interesting to read about. The Fresh Prince is a big focus of the book. A lot of his later work isn’t featured though. Thanks for your comment 🙂

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