Will Smith says cheating girlfriend inspired him to be famous

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Will Smith Says His Cheating Ex-Girlfriend Drove Him to Become a Star

By Variety

Will Smith has a long list of people to thank for his Hollywood fame and fortune, but the person who truly inspired him to succeed may surprise you.

"When I was 15, my girlfriend cheated on me," he said. "And from that moment, in this bizarre psychological twist, I wanted to be the most famous entertainer on Earth."

PHOTOS: Will Smith through the years

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Will Smith through the years
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Will Smith says cheating girlfriend inspired him to be famous
PASADENA, CA - FEBRUARY 06: Actor Will Smith presents the award for Outstanding Motion Picture onstage during the 46th NAACP Image Awards presented by TV One at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 6, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards)
Willard Carroll Will Smith Junior, an African-American actor, producer, and rapper in his youth wearing a large baseball cap, July 31, 1996. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Will Smith during an interview with guest host Jay Leno on October 15, 1990 -- (Photo by: Joseph Del Valle/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: Will Smith holds his Grammy Award 25 February in New York. Smith won best Rap Solo Performance for 'Men In Black.' (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO Matt CAMPBELL (Photo credit should read MATT CAMPBELL/AFP/Getty Images)
Actor/rapper Will Smith arrives at the 'Enemy of the State' film premiere at the Walter Reade Theatre in New York City November 18, 1999. (Photo by Diane Freed)
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: Actor and Recording star Will Smith holds up two of the three awards he won at The American Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA 11 January. Smith won awards for Pop Rock Favorite Album, Soul, Rhythm and Blues Favorite Album, and Favorite Male Artist. AFP PHOTO Gerard Burkhart (Photo credit should read GERARD BURKHART/AFP/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, UNITED STATES: US actor Will Smith (C) arrives with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith (L) and his son, at the 59th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, CA, 20 January 2002. Smith is nominated for Best Actor-Motion Picture Drama for his role in 'Ali.' AFP PHOTO/Lucy NICHOLSON (Photo credit should read LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Will Smith on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' at the NBC Studios in Burbank, Ca. Friday, March 8, 2002. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.
Will Smith and his sons arrive for the premiere of 'Spider Man' at the Mann Village in Westwood, Ca., April 29, 2002. photo by Kevin Winter/ImageDirect
Best Male Performer winner for 'Ali', Will Smith at the 2002 MTV Movie Awards held at the Shrine Theatre in Los Angeles, Ca., June 1, 2002. (photo by Kevin Winter/ImageDirect)
WESTWOOD, CA - JUNE 26: Actor Will Smith, his wife Jada Pinkett and his family attend the film premiere of 'Men In Black II' at the Mann Village and Bruin Theaters June 26, 2002 in Westwood, California. 'Men In Black II' opens in theaters nationwide on July 3, 2002. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Will Smith at 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' at the NBC Studios in Burbank, Ca. Thursday, June 27, 2002. Photo by Kevin Winter/ImageDirect.
SANTA MONICA, CA - APRIL 12: Will Smith during Nickelodeon's 16th Annual Kids' Choice Awards at the Barker Hangar April 12, 2003 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Robert Mora/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - MAY 7: Actors Will Smith (L) and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith arrive at the premiere of 'The Matrix Reloaded' at the Village Theater on May 7, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 20: Actors Will Smith (L) and Ice Cube arrive at the premiere of MGM's 'Barbershop 2: Back in Business' at the Chinese Theatre on January 20, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
CANNES, France: US actor Will Smith and US actress Angelina Jolie (R) ride into shore at the Carlton Hotel beach on a promo float for their film 'Shark Tale', 14 May 2004 at the 57th Cannes Film Festival in the French Riveria town. AFP PHOTO BORIS HORVAT (Photo credit should read BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images)
HONOLULU, HI - JANUARY 12: Actor Will Smith waits on a tee during the Pro-Am at the Sony Open at the Waialae Country Club on December 12, 2005 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 17: Will Smith (R) and his daughter Willow Smith listen to testimony at the 'The Next Ten Years In The Fight Against Human Trafficking: Attacking The Problem With The Right Tools' Committee Hearing at the Hart Senate Office Building on July 17, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0001 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Will Smith with host Jimmy Fallon during the 'Evolution of Hip Hop Dancing' skit on February 17, 2014 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 28: Actor Will Smith (R) presents his wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith with the Star Power award onstage during 2015 'Black Girls Rock!' BET Special at NJ Performing Arts Center on March 28, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)
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Watch the candid snippet above from Variety's "Actors on Actors" conversation between Smith and Benicio del Toro.

The full "Actors on Actors" special airs Dec. 27 on PBS SoCal.

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