Strange allergies are one thing that rich and famous have in common with the rest of the world, but is Will Smith one of the stars who has them? He played characters who had strong allergic reactions in Hitch and Gemini Man, so is it possible that art was imitating life?
Will Smith confirmed that he’s allergic to bees in an interview with BBC. He compared his character’s allergic reaction to seafood in the 2005 romantic comedy Hitch to the way he looks after being stung by a bee.
Bee Sting Allergy
Back in 2005, Will Smith showed us he’s a great rom-com lead with his role in the hit movie Hitch. In one of the most memorable scenes, he had a terrible reaction after eating seafood, and rushed to the pharmacy looking for Benadryl, instead of seeking professional medical help.
While discussing this scene with Smith, BBC asked the actor if he ever had an allergic reaction that ruined his chances with a girl. He recalled that his childhood crush Stacy Brooks was freaked out after he was stung by a bee.
“That allergic reaction in the movie is actually how I look when I get stung by a bee… In the movie it’s like an endearing thing, when you’re 11 it just freaks the girls out! My eyes were all swollen up and I was like, “But I wove you!” Yeah, that didn’t work out,” recalled Smith.
The Men in Black actor didn’t go into details, but the fact that his eyes were swollen and that he couldn’t pronounce words correctly indicates that his reaction to the bee sting was quite serious. It’s unclear if he experienced any other symptoms of anaphylaxis, and if his allergy impacted his life in any other way after this unpleasant experince.
“Gemini Man” Connection
Part of the reason why people are wondering if Will Smith has bee sting allergy in real life is his role in Gemini Man. This 2019 action thriller centered on a professional assassin Henry Brogan who has to face a younger clone of himself.
This project failed to wow viewers and critics, and many noticed it’s filled with countless plot holes. Brogan’s bee sting allergy was one of them, and The Hollywood Reporter noted that this allergy is rarely influenced by genetics, and it’s usually connected to environmental factors.
That didn’t stop screenwriters of Gemini Man from making this allergy one of the movie’s important plot points. Brogan’s deathly allergy to bees is first mentioned in a passing, but it eventually comes back into play – he’s shot with bee venom by his clone, who wants to make sure they’re truly identical. Will Smith never discussed his bee allergy in detail, so it’s unclear if it served as an inspiration for his character in Gemini Man, but it’s probably not extremely severe judging by his BBC interview.
Stars with Bee Sting Allergy
Surprisingly enough, Will Smith isn’t the only superstar who had an unpleasant experience with bee sting. Gerard Butler, who appeared in Angel Has Fallen alongside Smith’s wife Jada, decided to give bee sting therapy a shot while working on his film Geostorm. Things didn’t exactly go well, and he had a terrible allergic reaction after receiving ten shots of bee venom, instead of a single one.
Britney Spears is another star who doesn’t want anything to do with bees. She’s allergic to their sting, and it’s been reported that she tends to break out into hives after coming in contact with these insects. Adventurer Bear Grylls, who is no stranger to coming face to face with wild animals, also isn’t immune to a bee sting. He had an extreme reaction and had to deal with a swollen face after coming across a bee’s nest on his show Born Survivor.