The Advice Arnold Schwarzenegger Gave Will Smith When He Was Trying To Get More Famous Than Tom Cruise

Arnold Schwartzenegger in Terminator: Dark Fate and Will Smith in Focus screenshots
(Image credit: Warner Brothers and Skydance Media)

There are some celebrities that are so well known and ingrained in pop culture that it’s tough to remember a time when they weren’t a household name. Will Smith is certainly one of these names, as one of the most recognizable Black actors in the world and a beloved face in Hollywood. Even though the I Am Legend star wasn’t always the icon he is today, it sounds like he always had high ambitions for his career as he set his sights on becoming more famous than Tom Cruise. Apparently Smith got some major career advice from world renowned action star Arnold Schwarzenegger to help him along his ambitious journey.

You don’t really need any proof of Will Smith’s gravity in our culture other than the fact that his new memoir is simply titled “Will”, and no other emphasis is needed to tell us just who it is about. His new memoir is vividly and shockingly insightful into Smith’s life and mind, and in the book (via Insider) the star tells one story about the advice he was given by Arnold Schwarzenegger when the then young actor expressed his desire to surpass Tom Cruise in stardom, and that is to look at his career on a world level rather than just domestic success. Here it is exactly how it’s written in the revealing memoir:

You are not a movie star if your movies are only successful in America. You are not a movie star until every person in every country on earth knows who you are. You have to travel the globe, shake every hand, kiss every baby. Think of yourself as a politician running for Biggest Movie Star in the World.

I mean, that’s some pretty solid advice from someone who has dominated multiple industries and has actually been a whole governor of one of the biggest states. Arnold Schwarzenegger went from world champion bodybuilder, to iconic action star, to governor of California, and now is a successful business man as well. People are lucky to get to the top of one industry in their lifetime, and Schwarzenegger has far surpassed that life milestone and can spend his time chilling with his farm animals in peace

It seems like it was advice well taken, too, as Will Smith is an international name that demands respect, and he too is able to indulge in other industries and business ventures, his memoir just to name a recent one. It would also appear as though the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star hasn’t stopped looking to Tom Cruise for feats to match or beat. Because he recently mimicked one of the Mission: Impossible star’s famous stunts by chilling on top of the world’s largest building.

Even though both stars have certainly cemented their name in Hollywood’s history, Will Smith and Arnold Schwarzenegger are both still making plenty of films. Arnold Schwarzenegger is revisiting some of his iconic roles in upcoming revivals, like Triplets and The Legend of Conan. You can catch Will Smith in King Richard as it releases to theaters and HBO Max this week on November 19th as well as in his own future revivals, like Hancock 2, Bad Boys 4, and Bright 2.

Carlie Hoke
Content Writer

Constantly thinking about books, coffee, and the existential dread I feel from Bo Burnham’s Inside.  While writing I’m also raising a chaotic toddler, who may or may not have picked up personality traits from watching one too many episodes of Trailer Park Boys.