Paul Rodriguez is not a fan of Will Smith — especially after working with him on “Ali.”
The Mexican-American comedian and actor went on the attack during a recent interview on San Diego’s Rock 105.3 radio station, calling out his co-star for his on-set behavior.
“I’ve done a couple of films with him, and this time we didn’t end up so good,” the 61-year-old Rodriguez said on Friday. “I’d never work with him again. He was an a**hole…. Maybe he was on steroids or something.”
In the 2001 biopic about legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, Smith starred as the titled character while Rodriguez portrayed Dr. Freddie Pacheco.
Rodriguez claimed that trouble with Smith started when the real Pacheco, Ali’s former physician, allegedly came to the set drunk and began ranting.
"He goes into Will Smith’s trailer and he’s upset that his part isn’t bigger and that I’m playing him. He wanted Andy Garcia to play him,” he said, adding that the situation escalated to the point when Pacheco started using the N-word toward Smith. “The police had to escort him off the set. From then on, Will never looked at me the same.”
Eventually, Smith, 47, started lashing out at his co-star, which really confused Rodriguez.
“He started saying really offensive stuff to me,” Rodriguez claimed. “He said, ‘You’re a long way from anybody that loves you.’ I said, ‘Where’s that coming from?’ There was on cause to insult me or berate me.”
Rodriguez didn’t go into specifics, and admitted that he wasn’t always the sweetest guy.
“I’m no angel, but I didn’t have it coming this time,” he added.
Smith, who received an Oscar nomination for the role, has not publically commented on Rodriguez’s allegations. He and Rodriguez had previously worked together in 1993’s “Made in America.”