As Will Smith tries and fails to contain his hatred for his new movie Suicide Squad, he’s found a coping mechanism for the contractually obligated press tour: He’s pretending it’s not a tour for Suicide Squad. Forget about the movie, this tour is about Will Smith and reminding the world that he is still a preternaturally charming performer.
So when he appeared on The Late Show Tuesday night, Smith turned his star power up to 11 and kept it there. He had one mission: Work the crowd.
Smith danced onto the set in an entrance that took a full minute (you can watch it in the video below). Even after the band stopped playing his intro music, he wasn’t about to let Stephen Colbert start a conversation that might involve talking about that godforsaken movie. "Hold up," he said, "I gotta kiss that lady," and ran into the audience to give the thrill of a lifetime to a nice woman named Debbie.
"Well, thanks," Colbert joked, "that’s all the time we have."
Smith kept up his charm offensive even during the commercial break. Mid-conversation with Colbert, Smith heard Jon Batiste and Stay Human playing his old song "Summertime," and ran across the stage to join them. Thrilled, the audience leapt to its feet.
If Suicide Squad has done nothing else, it’s at least given us a Will Smith who is determined to remind us all just how likable he is.