Will Smith Says His View on Money Changed When He Turned 50: ‘You Realize None of It Can Make You Happy’

The ‘Emancipation’ actor also laughed off a question that his net worth is estimated to be $350 million

Will Smith is getting candid about his perspectives on money.

In a new interview with Complex, the Emancipation star, 55, opened up about how he deals with finances at this stage of his career — or, in some cases, how he doesn’t deal with them at all.

During his conversation with Speedy Morman, Smith laughed off a question about his net worth reportedly being $350 million. “I don’t even know, man. I don’t discuss such things,” he said.

Smith continued, adding that he was in the “downsize phase of my life,” financially speaking, while also acknowledging that he is someone who “who’s had money, lost money, then had it again, bigger than you ever imagined.”

“The first half of my life was gather, gather, gather, the second half of my life is gonna be give, give, give,” he said.

“I never understood, like, when, you know, you see people who will be rich and famous and, you know, they they always have that moment somewhere around 50 where something changes,” he said, citing Jim Carrey’s “public transformation” as an example of his point.

“But what happens is you just realize none of it can make you happy,” he continued. “Once you’ve bought everything you want and there’s literally nothing on earth else that you want to buy, I just wish that was a gift that everybody could have because there’s nothing that material can do to satisfy you.”

The actor added that his recent financial successes have given him an opportunity to reflect on his life in a spiritual way, too.

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“I’m in that phase of my life that can actually be scary. When you realize that no relationship, that no money, that no kids — there’s literally nothing that can make you happy,” Smith said.

“That happy is internal, full frontal contact with your dark knight of the soul and you reconcile that you gotta make happy in here,” he continued, pointing to his heart. “You gotta make happy in here with none of that stuff. You gotta take happy to the people you love. You can’t try to get it from them.”

Smith’s discussion of finances comes amid new reports that the Will And Jada Smith Family Foundation — the charity organization he shares with his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith — is shutting down due to a lack of donations following his controversial Oscars slap.

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The new report from Variety found that the Smith Family Foundation — which has previously donated funds to organizations including the American Film Institute and Big Brothers Big Sisters — had an 83% year-over-year drop in donations after he slapped Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards.

The I Am Legend actor has previously spoken about how he got his financial start in the entertainment industry. In a 2021 interview with Idris Elba to celebrate the release of his autobiography, Will, he jokingly shared a story about having to borrow money from a drug dealer to pay his taxes just before starting his role in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

“I borrowed $10,000 from a friend of mine who was a purveyor of neighborhood pharmaceuticals,” he said to laughs from the crowd. “I borrowed $10,000 and I moved to Los Angeles.”

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