Will Smith Learns to Turn Off 'Joke Switch' in 'Seven Pounds'

Will Smith learned a little something about himself in his latest movie.

Smith plays IRS agent Ben Thomas in "Seven Pounds," a man who has a secret (we won't give it away) that changes the lives of seven strangers.

Smith talked to Fox News at the film's Hollywood premiere on Tuesday night. He says the role caused him to take a closer look at his own, seemingly charmed life.

Click for photos from the premiere of "Seven Pounds."

"Anytime you work on a project, there’s always going to be some part of it that reveals something about you. On this one, I realized how I block pain," Smith said. "I have this joke switch that, as soon as something starts to be painful, my avoidance mechanism is to be able to make jokes and have fun. And for ["Seven Pounds"] I was forced to really confront some of the things in my life that I had never really dealt with."

Smith seems to be moving away from his cheerful, positive demeanor with several of his recent roles.

"The thing that really touched me about this was it’s about a guy who just couldn’t get it together. He made a mistake, and he just couldn’t get his life back on track," Smith says. "There’s a thing I’m really intrigued with right now. The idea of emotional trauma and how we go on, how do we continue our lives after we lost something that was really valuable to us."

But don't think that "Seven Pounds" is a holiday downer. Co-star Barry Pepper says that "at its core its a love story, and those are the themes that I fell in love with. The only way to achieve happiness and freedom and love is to give them to someone else, and you couldn’t ask for more of a holiday classic in that way."