So I watched Six Degrees of Separation for the first time this week.  I knew of the film of course, and its reputation as the film that proved that ‘Will Smith can act’.  But even knowing that going in, the film left me in shock…

Will is really good in this film.  In terms of pure acting, I think it’s my favorite Will performance, even above The Pursuit of Happyness.  Watching this performance now made me think of Will turning down Django Unchained, or other roles that now fall outside ‘the Will Smith brand.’  I actually have no doubt the Will Smith of today would never do this role; he’s an established A-lister, not someone working their way up who needs to get noticed.  You know who else this reminded me of, in a way?

Eddie Murphy.  Or more specifically, Eddie Murphy, one of the greatest stand up comedians ever.  His success inspired a generation of great stand ups who have come after him.  But did Eddie becoming the biggest movie star in the world kill the chance that we’ll get one more great Eddie Murphy stand up film?  Seems like it…

And I’m not saying Will or Eddie have made bad choices, or that they owe the audience anything.  It’s just an interesting thing to ponder; when an actor reaches ‘stardom’, he or she gets offered everything, and has choices to make.  But when someone reaches ‘superstardom’, you still get offered everything…but do you really have the freedom to do whatever you want?

Until next time.

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