Will Smith Spoke With Intimacy Coach About Wanting a Harem of Girlfriends Including Halle Berry and Misty Copeland

In perhaps the most revealing interview of his decades-long career, Will Smith goes deep on the valuable lessons he's amassed over the years.


Image via Getty/Matthias Nareyek/Sony Pictures


Ahead of the release of his new Mark Manson-assisted book, Will Smith has given one of the most revealing interviews of his career.

The GQ discussion sees the King Richard and Emancipation star going deep on a number of pivotal moments from his own life, including a valuable lesson he learned from intimacy coach Michaela Boehm. During their first meeting together, Smith confessed to Boehm that—if given the chance to have anything he wanted—he’d want a group of girlfriends that included fellow famous creatives.

Boehm told Smith to name the women he would want in this theoretical harem, resulting in the actor listing Misty Copeland and Halle Berry. As Smith and Boehm continued collaboratively looking into other women he could choose for this group, the stated plan was to even go so far as reaching out to them about this idea.

“I don’t know where I saw it or some shit as a teenager, but the idea of traveling with 20 women that I loved and took care of and all of that, it seemed like a really great idea,” he said.

But Smith quickly realized that wasn’t at all the point of the exercise. After they played out the scenario together, Smith said he came to understand that the setup would actually be “horrific” and would cause misery for all involved. But it helped Smith ditch some deeply embedded shame tendencies in connection with his strict Christian childhood.

“What she was doing was essentially cleaning out my mind, letting it know it was okay to be me and be who I was,” he said. “It was okay to think Halle is fine. It doesn’t make me a bad person that I’m married and I think Halle is beautiful. Whereas in my mind, in my Christian upbringing, even my thoughts were sins. That was really the process that Michaela worked me through to let me realize that my thoughts were not sins and even acting on an impure thought didn’t make me a piece of shit.”

Elsewhere, Smith—who last year reunited with Martin Lawrence for the well-received pre-pandemic hit Bad Boys for Life—reflected on the money Apple is putting behind the aforementioned Emancipation, an Antoine Fuqua-directed drama which tells the story of a slave named Peter who escaped a plantation in Louisiana and ultimately helped free others who were held captive.

“I just want to encourage Black Americans to take the acknowledgment and seize upon the present global opportunities,” Smith said. “I would just like us to argue less about certain things and pay attention to the big ripe fruit.” Asked by GQ to clarify what he meant by “certain things,” Smith added:

“So ‘Abolish the police. Defund the police.’ I would love if we would just say ‘Defund the bad police,’” the actor said. “It’s almost like I want, as Black Americans, for us to change our marketing for the new position we’re in. So ‘critical race theory,’ just call it ‘truth theory.’ The pendulum is swinging in our direction beautifully. And there’s a certain humility that will most capitalize on the moment for the future of Black Americans, without discounting the difficulty and the pain and the emotion. This is a difficult area to discuss, but I feel like the simplicity of Black Lives Matter was perfect. Anybody who tries to debate Black Lives Matter looks ridiculous. So when I talk about the marketing of our ideas, Black Lives Matter was perfection.”

Black Lives Matter, in Smith’s opinion, “gets it done” while the “defund the police” slogan pushes some people away.

“I’m not saying we shouldn’t defund the police,” he added. “I’m saying, just don’t say that, because then people who would help you won’t.”

Going deeper on a topic he recently got into on Jada’s Red Table Talk, Smith also opened up about the impact witnessing his father’s abuse against his mother had on him, as both a child and an adult. As he’s touched on before, seeing this violence inspired him to build a defense system that, in turn, became the public persona with which many most identify him. 

“I felt like a combination of having completed some phase of my life, and also with my father dying. I just never would’ve been able to say this stuff about my father beating up my mother,” Smith explained. “I never would’ve been able to talk about that while he was alive.”

A specific incident—one which occurred when Smith was nine years old—is recounted in the book. And through the process of putting the book together, Smith was able to find catharsis with his mother by speaking to her for the first time in his life about his father’s abuse.

The full interview also sees Smith sharing the inspiring advice he received from Denzel about the differences between one’s “funky 40s” and “fuck-it 50s” eras, the importance he’s found in “a fresh sampling of the fruits of the human experience,” his relationship with Jada, and much more. Read it here.

Recent weeks have given Fresh Prince diehards a slew of announcements surrounding the impending launch of the classic sitcom’s dramatic reimagining, which takes the form of a Peacock original based on a viral video made by Morgan Cooper. Playing Will in the new series, which has already been given a two-season order, is newcomer Jabari Banks. Other confirmed series regulars include Adrian Holmes as Uncle Phil, Cassandra Freeman as Vivian, Olly Sholotan as Carlton, Coco Jones as Hilary, Jordan L. Jones as Jazz, and more.

Latest in Pop Culture