The real-life hero whose rags-to-riches story features in Will Smith's latest film was far from impressed when he discovered the I, ROBOT star was playing him on the big screen.
Entrepreneur CHRISTOPHER GARDNER, who went from being a penniless single father to a millionaire businessman, felt Smith was badly cast when he learned he'd star in THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS.
Gardner admits, "I wasn't overwhelmed, honestly. I always thought of Will as the blockbuster, sci-fi movie star.
"My daughter said, 'If he can play Muhammad Ali, he can play you!'"
Smith is now receiving Oscar buzz for his performance, but Gardner doesn't want to get his hopes up regarding a nomination.
He adds, "We knew from the beginning we were doing something special - but we're not saying the 'O' word yet!'"