Tyrese Gibson: Will Smith 'Believes in Me More Than I Believe in Myself'
By Nicki Gostin Posted Apr 18th 2011 01:00PM
Singer and actor Tyrese Gibson has now added "author" to his belt, and in 'How To Get Out of Your Own Way' the kinda good-looking star uses his unique experiences to help guide the reader into an "infinitely richer" life. It's also an honest recount of his troubled background from the Watts section in L.A. to music stardom, to becoming a major movie star ('Transformers'). Tyrese spent a few minutes on the phone with PopEater and touched on overcoming a chaotic childhood, his views on men and their unstoppable desire to philander, and he lavishes praise on his life coach and mentor, Will Smith.
Will Smith really changed your life.
One would easily assume that once you become an actor you start hanging out with other actors, especially those more prominent and successful and that would be the reason to hang out with them. But what ended up being revealed was he changed my views and perspectives on life and my surroundings and my characteristics. I was completely caught off guard. It'd be like if you showed up for a main course meal and you ended up getting desert and appetizers and all this other stuff.
Is he your mentor?
He is every bit my mentor and friend. He always makes time to talk about whatever I'm thinking about or what I can't figure out on my own. I can't really compare him to anybody else in my life. He believes in me more than I believe in myself. It created another level of belief in myself that wasn't there before.
Can you share some of his bits of wisdom?
The first thing he dropped on me was you can often tell how far your life and career will go based on the five people you spend the most time with so I had to really sit back and really marinate on that. So I said, 'So if I have a problem with my life I should have a problem with the people in my life.' He was like, 'Yes, exactly.' So that's when the mission began to better my surroundings and keep everybody around me sharp because it's very easy to get lackadaisical and have people that work with you and for you to just go through the motions.
Did you have a lot of hangers-on?
Oh yeah, I went through every phase of that. The normal mentality when you come from the hood is when you start making more money than most of the people you grew up with and your family, you almost start feeling bad and having more, like you want to pay everybody's bills and the question is, are you in the charity business and are you handicapping adults?
You write a lot of men and women. You say it's pretty impossible for a man to be faithful.
Monogamous men do exist but for the most part, most of my experience is that men whether they're married or in relationships are moving around still having some fun. Men are out on the street telling random women the truth. Most women want to hear the truth but they're very uncomfortable with the truth and the way they react and respond to the truth creates an uncomfortability in the man.
But when you're in a relationship, I assume you want the woman to be faithful.
Yeah you want the woman to be faithful but it's kind of normal for women to be faithful. It's not in most women's nature to go and step out and cheat on their man.
So what you're saying is a guy can be a good guy but still step out, it's part of their DNA.
Absolutely. Most men were brought up and raised bragging about the amount of women we can have sex with. It's just a part of our upbringing. You can be on a college campus and if you have sex with nine women on the same campus you're the hero but if a woman has sex with nine different guys she sluts and whores. It's a double standard, it's horrible, it's not fair, it's not right but most women are raised to focus on just one man at a time. That's just the way it is.
You also say women should treat men like puppies.
I got this potty analogy that I use because a lot of men are like babies. We don't want our effort to be overlooked. We want to feel like, wait you want me to do something that I wasn't doing before I met you, so if I make the adjustment then my adjustment needs to be recognized because this is not something I would normally do, this is not a way I would normally act or talk to you or treat you. So if I'm going to do it you should go out of your way to make a man feel good about the adjustment he's making.
Your mother is an alcoholic. You had a very chaotic childhood.
Of course, it shook me up. I decided growing up I wanted to be nothing like my mother or father. I wanted to be the complete opposite to everything I was exposed to in the way I was raised. Still to this day, I'm 32 you'll never catch me drinking not even red wine over a Thanksgiving dinner, will never happen.
How important is God in your life?
God is my source, my clarity. God has blessed me to see things that I could never see with my own eyes. I see the invisible. I see what's not there like if you walk into a room and someone's giving you a lot of hugs and care it doesn't mean that they really like you. Most people are like, 'Oh man they gave me all this good energy and vibes they must really like me,' and as soon as they walk off they're trying to sabotage you from behind and so I'm able to see characteristics and energy and people that they may not believe. I see and that's seeing the invisible. I go to church as often as I can. When I'm in L.A I'm in church every Sunday.
More Q&As From Nicki Gostin: Robert Redford, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jamie Foxx and Barbara Eden
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