Will Smith isn’t a fan of Paul Rodriguez’s, especially after working with him on “Ali.”
During a recent interview on San Diego’s Rock 105.3 radio station, the Mexican-American comedian and actor went on the attack, criticizing his co-star for his on-set behavior.
Rodriguez, 61, said on Friday, “I’ve done a few of films with him, and this time we didn’t end up so good.” “I wouldn’t work with him again.” He was a jerk…. “Perhaps he was on some sort of steroid.”
Smith played the title character in the 2001 movie about great boxer Muhammad Ali, while Rodriguez played Dr. Freddie Pacheco.
According to Rodriguez, Smith’s problems began when the actual Pacheco, Ali’s former physician, arrived on set inebriated and began shouting.
“He walks into Will Smith’s trailer and expresses his dissatisfaction with the fact that his role isn’t greater and that I’m playing him. He wanted Andy Garcia to play him,” he alleged, adding that the situation had deteriorated to the point that Pacheco was referring to Smith as “N-word.” “He had to be escorted off the scene by the cops.” Will never looked at me the same after that.”
Smith, 47, eventually began yelling at his co-star, which perplexed Rodriguez.
“He started yelling pretty terrible stuff to me,” Rodriguez stated. “He said, ‘You’re a long distance from anybody that loves you.’ ‘Where did that come from?’ I asked. There was no reason to berate or disrespect me.”
Rodriguez didn’t go into detail, but he did concede that he wasn’t always the nicest person.
“I’m no angel,” he said, “but I didn’t see it coming this time.”
Smith, who was nominated for an Academy Award for the performance, has remained silent on Rodriguez’s allegations. He and Rodriguez previously collaborated on the 1993 film “Made in America.”