It’s been almost 15 years since actor Will Smith portrayed Muhammad Ali in the biographical film “Ali” in 2001. One burning question on everyone’s mind at the time was whether or not Smith used anabolic steroids to bulk up for the role of the legendary boxing champion. Even after all of these years, comedian Paul Rodriguez thought the topic was worth revisiting.
Rodriguez played the role of Dr. Ferdie Pacheco in “Ali”. Rodriguez spent a lot of time on the set of Ali and interacted with Smith on numerous occasions. Rodriguez shared his suspicions about Smith’s steroid use with the hosts of San Diego KIOZ Rock 105.3’s “The Show” on February 19, 2016.
“I’ve done a couple of films with him and this time we didn’t end up so good,” Rodriguez said. “I’d never work with him again, he was an a-hole… maybe he was on steroids or something.”
Unfortunately, those looking for a definitive answer to the question of Smith’s steroid use will have to look elsewhere. The only evidence offered by Rodriguez was his claim that Smith was an “asshole”. Rodriguez also pointed to the seemingly impossible task of making a dramatic transformation from “Fresh Prince” to “Muhammad Ali” in such a short period of time.
“Maybe the steroids he was using to beef up?” Rodriguez suggested. “[I don’t] know that for a fact but basically how does a guy… go from a skinny dude to a massive guy?”
For the record, Smith has always denied using steroids or any other muscle-building drugs. He credited his transformation to training with celebrity trainer Darrell Foster and eating a lot of food combined with endless numbers of protein shakes. Smith apparently liked his balls too much to risk any shrinkage from anabolic steroid induced hypogonadism.
“I ate more often — probably seven times a day — and I drank protein shakes forever. Steroids mess with your balls…excuse me,” Smith told BlackFlix.com after the film premiered. “Actually, my body goes up fairly easily. And I go down easy too.”
Foster founded Omega Bodies Inc. to address the fitness needs of the entertainment industry over 20 years ago. During that time, the celebrity trainer and life coach has worked with world class boxers such as Sugar Ray Leonard.
Under Foster’s guidance, Smith gained approximately 37 pounds of muscle to transform his 185-pound Fresh Prince physique to the imposing 222-pound Muhammad Ali physique. Foster put Smith through six-hour-a-day workouts that included a hardcore weight training component. By the time of the film, Smith reportedly bench pressed 350-pounds according to Men’s Fitness.
“I have nothing praises as far as the actor and his talent and everything, but how he treated me?” Rodriguez said. “Not cool.”
KIOZ. (February 19, 2016). Paul Rodriguez on KIOZ Rock 105.3’s “The Show”. Retrieved from http://www.rock1053.com/onair/follow-along-with-the-show-50892/comedian-paul-rodriguez-calls-out-will-14401412/