"I'm feeling that at some point, in the near future, I will have to lend my voice to the conversation in a somewhat different way," Will Smith says

By Jodi Guglielmi
Updated November 25, 2015 01:05 PM
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Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty

President Smith does have a nice ring to it.

Will Smith is already one of Hollywood’s most successful actors, starring in a string of blockbuster hits over the years – but now he says he might be ready to take his career in a new direction and possibly take on his biggest role yet: that of a politician.

“As I look at the political landscape, I think that there might be a future out there for me,” Smith told The Hollywood Reporter on its “Awards Chatter” podcast series. “They might need me out there.”

Smith, 47, said his goal in life has always been to make a positive difference through his acting and music, but now that he’s accomplished so much in those fields, he’s ready to take his “ability to be useful in the world” to the next level.

“I’m a climber, so if I see a mountain, I have to climb it. I’m not a camper; I don’t like hanging in one place too long. So I think, at this point, I’m elevating my ability to be useful in the world,” he explained. “I think that that’s what my grandmother always hoped, that I would make myself useful to people in this lifetime.”

After feeling unsettled about the state of politics in America for some time now, Smith heard his calling.

“This is the first year that I’ve been incensed to a level that I can’t sleep, you know? So I’m feeling that at some point, in the near future, I will have to lend my voice to the conversation in a somewhat different way.”

But even though he’s not happy with the political landscape in the U.S. today, he says he has an even greater appreciation for the American dream after working on his latest film Concussion.

In the film, Smith plays Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian forensic pathologist who discovered a disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the brains of football players and claimed that professional football could pose a long-term threat to the health of players who repeatedly suffered head injuries.

Smith hopes that people who see the film (out Dec. 25) will take away “Dr. Omalu’s reverence for the American dream” and the “importance of standing up, the importance of using your faith or whatever strength you have to call on to tell and demand the truth.”

And Smith acknowledges that without the American dream, he would not be the person he is today.

“America’s the only place on earth that I could exist. No other country on earth produces Will Smiths, you know?” he added. “If you look back historically, of how black people have had it on the planet, America is elevating quite well, based on the history of our people.”