Will Smith Admits To R29 That He's A Hopeless Romantic

Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images.
Okay, so I have to agree with many of the reviews of Collateral Beauty: It's pretty darn cheesy. The movie brims with sappy writing and almost unbelievably on-the-nose platitudes, and the acting from the majority of the ensemble cast leaves much to be desired.

But there are two redeeming qualities of the film that make it heartwarming in a holiday-movie kind of way. First, there's the overall premise: the importance of appreciating life and the world around you, no matter how difficult things get. And then, of course, there's Will Smith.

Smith portrays Howard Inlet, a former advertising executive who's grieving the loss of his 6-year-old daughter. His way of coping is to write letters to death, time, and love — the three elements he previously boasted to employees are the tools for coming up with great advertisements.

Despite the film's cheese factor, Smith gives a tear-jerking performance throughout the movie — especially in the surprise twist of an ending. During a chat about Collateral Beauty, I asked him why a story about appreciating life amid loss and sorrow is particularly important right now — when our country is experiencing so much uncertainty and contention politically, racially, and otherwise.

"The beauty of [Collateral Beauty] right now is it brings everything down," he says. "It simplifies, in a real way, what is most important with human beings — how we center on the idea of love, time, and death."

So, if Smith himself could write a letter to anyone in the universe, who would it be? Love, of course.

"What I realized on this film is that there is nothing more important to me than love," he says. "I am a serious hopeless romantic. Lots of letters to love, over and over again."

Watch the clip below for more from the actor, including his thoughts on New Year's resolutions and what holidays are like in the Smith household.
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