Did you wake up this morning with a hole in your heart, aching desperately to be filled by on-set anecdotes from Ali, Michael Mann’s 15-year-old Muhammad Ali biopic? Read no further: In an interview with San Diego radio station Rock 105.3, actor Paul Rodriguez, who played Ali’s cornerman Ferdie Pacheco in the film, says that during filming, Will Smith was a huge jerk to him for no reason. The trouble apparently started when the real Pacheco visited the set drunk, complained that he wasn’t being played by Andy Garcia, and harassed Smith with racial slurs. From that day forward, Smith reportedly projected his ill will toward Pacheco onto the man playing him. “He was an a-hole … he started saying offensive stuff to me,” recalled Rodriguez, who had previously had a lovely time working with Smith on Made in America. What caused the change? Rodriguez doesn’t want to speculate — oh wait, yes he does. “Maybe it was the steroids he was using to beef up,” he says. Emphasis on the “maybe” — Rodriguez says he didn’t know the star was juicing for sure, but knew no other way he could go from “skinny” to “massive.” Smith has previously denied using steroids for Ali, saying they “mess with your balls.”
Will Smith in Ali.