Chris Pizzello/REUTERS/Landov
and Tim Nudd
December 11, 2007 03:55 PM

Being immortalized in cement can be a nerve-racking experience, but Will Smith got a little help from his friends – in particular, Tom Cruise – at the Monday ceremony in his honor on Monday in the forecourt of Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

Cruise arrived at the event, sans Katie and Suri, moments before Smith did, and was quickly embraced by Smith’s family – his mother Caroline and his children Jaden and Willow. (His wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, was off directing a movie and could not attend.)

“Just tell me where you want me,” Cruise told the clan. Willow, who is 7, replied excitedly, “Here!” – picking the seat between her and her grandmother.

Smith, 39, a two-time Oscar nominee, soon arrived and was feted by friends, family and fans. “This is absolutely an honor,” he told the crowd. “I was sitting in the car and I was okay. Then I got here and I’m not as okay as I was.”

Speaking about the power of the movies, Smith – whose latest is I am Legend – related a story that Nelson Mandela had told him about how the messages of racial equality from Hollywood films had inspired him in prison. “I want to do everything that I can do with my life in instructing my family and friends to make this world a better place,” Smith said.

Smith chanted “T.C.!” repeatedly when Cruise was introduced, and they shared a chat and a laugh while Smith put his hand- and footprints in the cement.

Asked to reveal what Cruise, 45, had said to him, Smith told PEOPLE, “That’s top secret. No, I’m kidding. He said, ‘We’ve got to make a movie together!’ ”

Smith (standing, fourth from left) with family and friends; Cruise, far right
Nick Ut/AP

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