They say you should never meet your heroes, but for me, I knew I had to! Growing up, my favourite TV show was The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and as such I became a huge fan of Will Smith. I had always idolized him, and wanted to be just like him. From The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, I watched as Will Smith grew as a person, and the humbleness which he carried, throughout his life. I have seen all episodes of Fresh Prince, countless times, as well as all of his movies numerous times. On top of all of this, I make sure to watch all of his interviews, and understand everything about him. Not just for his acting abilities, but I am also a huge fan of his music as well. Throughout the years I always said “imagine how cool it would be to meet Will Smith,” “I wonder if I will ever get the chance,” and have always doubted that it would ever happen. I mean, he’s Will Smith, this huge, mega, blockbuster star… how would I even get a chance. That all changed exactly two years ago, when Will Smith was in Toronto filming a movie.
The movie that Will Smith and his co-stars were in town filming was called Suicide Squad. Now here’s a little backstory to this movie, and why it was a big deal to me (not just cause of Will). I have always been a comic book fan, and I wouldn’t consider myself a fan boy, but between Marvel and DC, my favourite is DC. When it was announced that DC was doing their own “Cinematic Universe” I got really excited because this meant they would be doing movies on a ton of different characters and groups. As such, I had high expectations they would focus on my favourite group of villains… the Suicide Squad! A couple years later, and surely enough, it was announced that they would be making a movie; the hype started. From there, they announced an amazing cast, who I felt would do an incredible job portraying their characters, including Will Smith as Deadshot. Shortly after, it was announced that principle filming would be taking place in Toronto for a period of 6 months. This meant that they were making a movie about my favourite comic book anti-heroes, featuring my favourite actor of all-time, in the city that I live. This was it, this was my chance.
Fast forward to filming dates, and I notice a few people on Twitter and Instagram posting pictures of Will Smith and themselves. This made me anxious, and as such, I started messaging a ton of random people. Now majority of these people said “Oh it was just luck” or “I randomly ran into him,” which was a complete lie. However, there was one individual who did give me all the information I needed. She told me what time the cast was filming, when is the best time to catch the cast, and where exactly to go.
This began my day 1 trip downtown. I woke up at 3:30 in the morning, got ready quickly and was out the door by 4 am, rushing downtown. I made it within 10 minutes, and was a little confused on where to go, By the time I found out where it was exactly, I had apparently missed majority of the cast. The only ones left were Adam Beach and Margot Robbie. As such I decided since I was already up and downtown, I might as well get pictures with the rest. I was able to grab a quick picture with Adam Beach as he was quickly heading out. After, Margot Robbie was leaving base camp, but in her SUV, and did not stop for pictures. She only stopped to sign autographs. Apparently it was in her contract not to take pictures unless she was in make-up, nor were we allowed to take pictures of her. Still… I sneaked one in. Since I didn’t know what was going to happen, I didn’t have anything for her to sign. Shortly after, everyone had left, and I decided to try my luck the next day.
The next morning, it was the same routine, up early, and out the door by 4. This time I knew exactly where to go, and was there by 4:15, patiently waiting. They ran a little late, and wrapped up filming by 5:00. There was about 10 people total, waiting to meet the cast. First one out was Joel Kinnaman. He was beyond nice, and kind to everyone. Taking as much photos, and signing everything that everyone had to be signed. While he was talking to some people, Scott Eastwood came out as well and showed the same amount of love that Joel Kinnaman was showing. They both had gotten out of their cars to take the pictures with fans, and sign autographs. From my whole experience, they were the only two that got out of their cars. Everyone else remained inside to take photos, or sign. After they finished, the man himself, Will Smith rolled up. He was beyond kind and nice to every single person. He spent time taking photos with everyone and signed everything that everyone had. He didn’t make things seemed rushed at all. You can tell by looking at him that he was really tired (all-night filming) but that didn’t stop him. We didn’t get to have too long a conversation as everyone wanted to talk to him, but I was able to tell him how much he meant to me growing up, and he thanked me for all my support throughout the years. After getting my picture, I backed up and let everyone else left, have a turn. He ended up being the last actor to stop for the fans, so I headed home afterwards.
I decided to return again the next morning to meet some more of the cast, as well as get a poster I had printed, signed. Upon returning, I was able to get Will Smith and Margot Robbie to sign my poster, as well as meeting, and getting pictures/autographs with Jai Courtney and Karen Fukuhara. This was probably the one day that most of the cast had stopped. The next day I returned to see if I could get anyone else, and thankfully was able to get Joel Kinnaman again, so he signed my poster, as well as finally getting Jay Hernandez. I definitely have to give respect to Jay Hernandez who probably was the most tired after filming, considering the hours spent in the make-up chair; to actually stop for the fans, and be so kind to everyone. I definitely became a bigger fan of his after that interaction.
The whole experience was amazing as I was able to meet a large amount of the main cast, and interact with them. Also, being able to see some of the filming being done was quite interesting. It most definitely built up, and led to greater excitement for the film. The ones who I never got a chance to meet were Cara Delevingne, Adawale Akinnuoye-Agbaje & Jared Leto. Even though I really wanted to meet them, and add their autographs to my poster, the overall experience far exceeded my expectation, and I was quite satisfied.