"I LOVE being famous!" roars the always-exuberant Will Smith.

It's refreshing to speak to an actor who doesn't lament their lack of privacy. The 48-year old Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy-winner tells news.com.au, "I love it that I can't walk down the street without people recognising me."

Recently his fame got him out of a tricky situation.

"I hire these guys who come to my house and wash the car. They'll take it and gas it for me. You pay a little extra fee, but your car is always full and you never have to worry about it.

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"It's cool. But recently, it was a holiday and so they didn't come." He smiles.

"So, I had been driving all week, I get in my car, and the thing is on empty! I am like 'Oh no, I can't make it home.' So I pulled over at a gas station and then realised that I didn't have my wallet with me. And I was like, 'I can't get home.'

"I could have called somebody to come get me, but then I saw a dude who looked about 38 years old. I thought to myself, 'He knows the Fresh Prince!'" He laughs loudly.

"So I just hung my head out of the window a little bit. Then the dude says, 'Hey Will!' I say, 'Hey man. Dawg, I am on empty, I left my wallet, can you lend me 10?' And he said, 'Yeah, sure Will! Dude, this is so great that I have to lend you 10 dollars!

"I told him I'd get it back to him but he said, 'Oh don't worry about it Will, but can I get a picture? Nobody is going to believe this!'" Smith then imitates taking a selfie.

"So I just can't imagine living another way, I love it," he smiles, shrugging his shoulders. "I feel sorry for you!"

Smith is in New York to promote his latest movie, Collateral Beauty, with an all-star cast including Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet and Ed Norton. In this heart-wrenching film, he plays a father who loses his 6-year-old daughter to a rare form of cancer.

While he was filming the movie, Smith was dealing with his own real life family tragedy.

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Will Smith and Helen Mirren in a scene from the film, Collateral Beauty.
Will Smith and Helen Mirren in a scene from the film, Collateral Beauty.

"I think what is really beautiful for me about this movie is when I started working on it, during my initial preparation, my father (Willard Carroll Smith Sr.) was diagnosed with cancer.

"So having to face his impending death while working on the struggles of my character, it became a way that my father and I were able to connect wide open because in my mind, it was character preparation.

"I wasn't scared to ask him any questions, he was responding and we were able to talk about the difficulty and the pain and the fear and all of those elements around the idea of death, time and love. So it became this really magical transition." He pauses.

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"He passed about three weeks ago. He called me night he passed and we FaceTimed."

During the film, his character took out his aggression and grief on riding his bike. In dealing with stress in his own life, Smith, says, "I am a runner. I love running. And there's nothing like it. And for me, I actually prefer the treadmill. I prefer the monotony of it for whatever reason. I feel like I get to spend more time with myself and I don't get distracted and go, 'Oh, that's pretty!'" He laughs.

"So when I am on the treadmill, it's a beautiful time with myself and it hasn't failed me yet. I get real clarity right around that 8K mark."

Although most people work out to music, Smith says, "No. I don't listen to music, I just run with that crazy dude in my head."