Will Smith Opens Up About Rough Patch He Went Through Four Years Ago

The actor reveals there was a time when he fell out of love with acting.

Will Smith took a brief hiatus from acting a few years ago when he went through a rough patch in his career and personal life.

During The Hollywood Reporter's Actor Roundtable, Smith explained what was going through his head at the time.

"In retrospect, I realize I had hit a ceiling in my talent. I had a great run that I thought was fantastic, and I realized that I had done everything that I could do with the 'me' that I had," Smith said.

The actor did not work for two years, instead he spent the months going through marriage counseling, reading parenting books and reflecting on his inner self.

"I really dived into me," explained Smith, "and then all of a sudden it was like, 'Oh!' And I found the connection. Your work can never really be better than you are, you know? Your work can’t be deeper than you are."

Describing himself as "product-oriented," Smith said he always felt a need to win. But his daughter Willow helped to change this mindset.

"I have a 15-year-old daughter, and she got me and shifted my focus from product to people," Smith said.

"It took a couple of years, but as soon as I got knocked off of product and started shifting to people, the whole world opened up for me again," he said, "and acting opened up in a whole new way — to not go into day one of a movie trying to figure out what everybody has to do so we win, versus opening up and every person is a whole new world."

Since finding a new outlook on his career, Smith's passion for acting is stronger.

"It was a pathology that broke for me a couple of years ago," said Smith, "and I fell in love and then I couldn’t imagine what else I could do that could add so much to my life other than acting."

The full Actor Roundtable will air on Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday, Jan. 17, at 11 a.m. ET on Sundance TV.

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