Neymar’s theatrics at the World Cup of constantly throwing himself to the ground has caught Will Smith’s attention. The actor compared it to one of his worst movie roles.
Brazil’s Neymar may be a great soccer player, but he’s also the sport’s drama king. The 26-year-old was roundly mocked and trolled for his “performances” in the 2018 World Cup where he would throw himself to the ground and try to get a foul called, even though he wasn’t touched. Actor Will Smith, 49, is weighing in on Neymar’s bad acting and comparing it to one of his most unfortunate movie roles. A reporter asked the film superstar about Neymar, noting that he’d become “Kind of a joke around the world” during the cup and “As an actor, how would you evaluate the performance of Neymar?”
Will was super diplomatic, but threw some subtle shade by comparing Neymar’s bad acting to his widely panned 1999 film Wild Wild West. Yeah, the one where he fought giant robotic spiders in the old west. “I’ve been in this business way too long to answer that question. I think he did a spectacular job, that is my man. You know, as an actor you have situations where sometimes you make The Pursuit of Happyness, sometimes you make Independence Day, and every once in a while you make a Wild Wild West,” he responded to the question with a hearty laugh ,comparing two of his best loved hits to his most maligned film.
“When you want to perform on a world scale like that there’s going to be good days and bad days,” Will added. He’s gone on record many times in the past about how much he regretted making Wild Wild West, an over-the-top action film he made while turning down the role of Neo in The Matrix. Yeah, BIG mistake. “I had so much success that I started to taste global blood, and my focus shifted from my artistry to winning. I wanted to win and be the biggest movie star, and what happened was there was a lag — around Wild Wild West time. I found myself promoting something because I wanted to win, versus promoting something because I believed in it,” he said at a 2016 Cannes Lions interview.
Neymar’s theatrics during the cup spawned a “Neymar Challenge,” where people — especially kids — are playing soccer and when his name is called, they drop to the ground, writhing around in fake pain. It’s pretty hilarious as you can see in the above video. In Brazil’s match against Mexico, Neymar was so over the top with his theatrics that the Mexican coach called him “an embarrassment to soccer” and his fakery “shameful.” It’s too bad Will didn’t take the bait and go for the Neymar Challenge, as he’s proved he can crush everyone by winning the Drake “In My Feelings” Challenge atop a Budapest bridge.