Will Smith has moved in such a straight line to becoming one of the biggest movie stars in the world, it makes you wonder if you should be investing in Scientology. Big Willy has saved Earth from sure destruction six times—seven, if Suicide Squad wants a sequel. He broke out as the irresistibly corny, quintessentially '90s, and Nutella smooth Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and has blossomed into a go-to blockbuster star who, on average, grosses over $100 million each time a camera catches him flexing.
In his singular career, he's released music videos starring some of the most garish garments ever put on a body; two buddy cop franchises—one set in Miami, the other in space; and three biopics about a boxing legend, a contra-NFL doctor and a once-homeless stockbroker. Tracking the trajectory of the mega-star's success, Smith's projects have only gotten bigger and better with time. Will has been lording over the culture since the late '80s. Let's trace his evolution from gangly rap star to overdue Oscar-caliber actor.