By Samantha Grossman
December 3, 2015

Will Smith has revealed the secret behind his fame and success: an unfaithful ex.

In an interview for Variety’s “Actors on Actors” special, the 47-year-old told fellow actor Benicio Del Toro that teenage heartbreak is what ultimately inspired him to go into show business.

“When I was 15, my girlfriend cheated on me,” Smith says. “And from that moment, in this bizarre psychological twist, I wanted to be the most famous entertainer on Earth, because I believed that your girlfriend couldn’t cheat on you.”

He added that it was a “really bizarre psychological leap” and he looks for that similar experience in his characters.

In his newest film, Concussion, Smith plays forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu, who studies brain trauma in professional football players.

Read next: The Fresh Prince Turns 25: The Show’s Creators on Will Smith, Reboots and Race

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