By Delinda Lombardo on
Will Smith is continuing to promote his latest film ‘Seven Pounds’ with an impressive attitude and an infectious spirit. The film, which opens December 19, is a drama about a man who helps total strangers, and this is precisely what Smith has been doing via hundreds of turkeys he’s been buying for the needy.
“If there’s a message, it’s ‘you gotta help somebody.’ Even if it’s somebody’s car breaking down, use your cell phone. Something little like that,” said Smith, “We gotta help one another to get the quality of life we’re all striving for.”
Fans at various screening locations – including Miami, Dallas, St. Louis, Cleveland, Denver and Charlotte, N.C, – have been asked to donate cans of food for a free pass to the film. Smith has turned these promotional opportunities into charitable events, surprising hundreds of fans by appearing at screenings, schools and hospitals without reporters or photographers because he didn’t want to turn them into publicity stunts.
This weekend, for example, after buying 300 turkeys through the Second Harvest Food Bank, Smith surprised the city of Charlotte N.C., where he talked to kids at the Levine Children’s Hospital, John Taylor Williams Middle School and Northwest School of the Arts.
“He was so down-to-Earth,” says Williams principal Ronald Dixon. "I asked backstage if he’d mind wearing one of our purple ‘Building Champions’ shirts, and he popped off the sweater and shirt he was wearing and put one on. He talked about all sorts of things, including being careful whom you hang around with. He told the kids, ‘Think about the six people you spend most of your time with, because those are the people you’ll pick up most of your traits from.’ And I thought, ‘That applies to adults, too.’ "
Smith lays claim to being the first man in Hollywood history to log eight $100 million movies in a row yet remains one of the most humble men on screen.
“It’s cool to have the goal of being the biggest movie star in the world. But why?” said Smith, “It’s been revealed to me that the question is: Whose life is better because you woke up today?”
Smith’s premiere in Minneapolis on Friday served as a fundraiser for Feeding America, the Upper Midwest’s largest hunger-relief organization. Smith donated 300 turkeys during the event, and was joined by Vikings wide receiver Bernard Berrian, who recently donated $10,000 to Feeding America.
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