Will Smith insists he could identify with the character he plays in his new movie because they both have had brushes with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Smith plays CHRIS GARDNER in the movie THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS, which sees his bank account frozen by the IRS - and Smith faced a similar situation when he was starting out.
The star began his career as rapper the FRESH PRINCE, along with his sidekick Jazzy Jeff and they neglected to pay the government a portion of their earnings.
He explains, "Jeff and I had one of the first 900 numbers (which charges callers a fee). We made a lot of money.
"We didn't purposely not pay taxes. You get paid in cash, and you forget those things."
Smith is grateful he learned the financial lesson early in his career, before he had a family adding, "Being down in that situation was so different from the feeling of ultimate parental failure.
"When I was broke, it was different because I was by myself. It is a completely different world to be broke by yourself than to be broke with a child."