Why does the world love, Will Smith? Because one of the most recognizable men on the globe, an enterprise that rakes in seven and eight digits per film, doesn’t take himself that seriously.
The rapper-turned-actor took to social media to participate in the “Not My Name” TikTok challenge that has exploded over the last month that uses The Ting Tings’ 2008 hit “That’s Not My Name,” as the soundtrack to folks tired of being called something outside of their moniker.
Celebrities hopped on the trend and started making videos by using some of the many characters they’ve played on television and in movies over the span of their careers. Kyla Pratt, a child star that blossomed right in front of her fans’ eyes, debuted on TikTok with her iconic roles in “Dr. Dolittle,” “One on One,” “The Proud Family” and more. Other celebs that hopped on the trend were Vivica A. Fox and Meagan Good.
Even Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, hopped on the trend, reminding viewers that before she became Mrs. Bel-Air she had a career as a popular actor in her own right.
But when Big Willie was cued up to attack the challenge, many wondered which ones of his 40+ movies would he choose from. They were all shocked that he chose not nearly one. Instead, he used the hilarious nicknames he has received on the reality show he not so WILL-ingly signed up for, “Social Media Memes.”
The less-than-one-minute clip starts with him walking with a blue sky background, and when the song drops he posts various memes that call him the following names: Poor Will; Crop Top Prince; Thicc Willie; Prince of Air; Uncle Will (playing off of James Avery’s character from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Uncle Phil); Pain; Mark A## Brown Lee; Dr. Will (playing off of the talk show host, Dr. Phil); and Woll Smoth.
Fans immediately jumped into the comment section. Some who still wanted him to do one like his wife’s. Couri Couri wrote, “Funny now do the real challenge.”
Brian Breach cracked a joke, asking, “When you were younger they did say you WILL have a lot of personalities?”
While other fans had their own suggestions of other “Wills” that should have been included. Sheena Shayna remarked, “They left off entangled Will.”
She is correct. There was no “Entangled Will” in his video, but at least one of the memes referenced his 2020 “Red Table Talk” discussion with Pinkett Smith, where the couple had to address their time separated, and a relationship with August Alsina that had become public and made national news. The popular “Poor Will ” meme, created with an amplified still of the actor’s sad expression during the episode, went viral. People even compared it to another celebrity meme, Crying Michael Jordan.
Smith, the second highest-paid actor in the world, is a good sport about it all, joining in on the joke — or did he? The West Philly native captioned the video with a fun fact, “My name’s not even Will! #ThatsNotMyName”
It is true. His real name is Willard Carroll Smith Jr. Maybe the joke is on the fans.
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