So what Will Smith needs to do for I Am Legend – more than with any of his other films – is sell it. Sell sell sell. Promote the movie as a thrilling romp that the whole family will enjoy. Exclude nobody in its appeal. And that's why Will Smith has decided to promote I Am Legend by giving a lengthy television interview all about how much Tom Cruise has taught him about the benefits of being a fully paid-up member of the Scientologists.
We've never been able to understand what Tom Cruise and Will Smith see in each other. Aside from a shared thermonuclear sense of self-confidence and the way they're both just a little bit too oversincere and laugh just one decibel too loudly to ever be convincing, we've never really grasped what the two of them have in common.
And yet it's there – Tom Cruise organised David Beckham's Welcome To LA party with Will Smith, and Will and his wife Jada were among the first people to see Suri Cruise when she was born. Why? Because Jada is a Scientologist and Tom Cruise has vowed not to rest until he's signed Will up, too?
Don't be such a cynical bastard – that's absolutely not the case in the slightest. And to prove his point, Will Smith has decided to use an interview for his movie I Am Legend to tell the world how brilliant Tom Cruise is and all about the Scientology belief system and how you puny idiots will never ever even be a fraction of how brilliant Tom Cruise is at being a human being. Will told Access Hollywood:
“I was introduced, [to] it by Tom and I’m a student of world religion. I was raised in a Baptist household, I went to a Catholic school, but the ideas of the Bible are 98 percent the same ideas of Scientology, 98 percent the same ideas of Hinduism and Buddhism… When I sit and I talk with Tom Cruise, he is one of the greatest spirits that I’ve ever met – someone who is committed to making the world better. You have people [that] are attacking and wanna fight that don’t know nothing — how you gonna not know nothing about Scientology and attack somebody? It’s dangerous and it’s ignorant. How can I condemn someone for what they believe and I believe that God was born from a pregnant virgin?”
Let's just hope that Will Smith's Tom Cruise infatuation cools down a bit before I Am Legend is released because, while there's nothing wrong with defending a friend's religion – even if it's a religion that all of Germany hates – we can easily see how it could all spiral out of control and end up with Will Smith leaping around on a piece of home furnishing whooping like a faulty rape alarm. And that way madness lies.
Still, we're sure that Tom Cruise will be thrilled that Will Smith has leapt to his defence so publicly, although it's a relief that we won't be there when Tom and Will meet each other for the first time after the interview. After the first 45 minutes of hearing ever-harder high-fives, arm-punches and relentlessly-sincere cries of "You the man!" "No, you the man!" we'd probably start to get a little bored.