Will Smith posted a video a few days ago discussing why he turned down the role of Neo in The Matrix. A small tidbit the actor shares in his Youtube video is how Steven Spielberg persuaded him to do Men In Black. When he was first offered a role in the alien comedy he wasn’t interested.
From Geek Tyrant:
That was a crazy time in my life. It was like, however I threw the ball, it was going in. I had done Independence Day the year before. I was like, ‘I’m not doing another alien movie, I don’t wanna be the alien movie guy,’ so I turned down Men in Black. And Steven Spielberg called me, he was producing, he said, ‘Why are you turning down that movie?’ I said, ‘I just don’t wanna be the alien guy,’ he said, ‘Um, do me a favor, don’t use your brain for this one, use my brain.’ He was so serious that I was like, ‘Alright, he did do Jaws.’ You just get in that universal energy and nothing can go wrong and that other side comes and you can’t do nothing right.”
You can read more here and watch the entire video below.