What Will Smith ACTUALLY Smelled In Independence Day

It was far from Fresh for Big Willie Style.

Will Smith

It may be cheesy as all hell and include just a tad too much “America, f*ck yeah!” fist-pumping at times, but there’s no doubt that Independence Day is a classic of its time.

Largely seen as the true launching of Will Smith into the global stratosphere of A-list movie stars – Smith was just finishing up The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and had come off the back of Bad Boys – Roland Emmerich’s 1996 film about aliens seeking to destroy Earth is still a big favourite of many to this day.

As Captain Steven Hiller, Smith is tasked with leading the charge against these no-good alien beings. But one particular scene that has puzzled many viewers over the years, is the scene where Capt. Hiller pulls an unconscious alien across the desert.


If you remember, there’s a brilliant moment there where Will Smith takes a whiff of the air and proclaims, “And what the hell is smell?” That line was completely unscripted and seriously was just Big Willie Style making a comment about a legitimate nasty smell in the air.

Ever wondered just what that pong was? Well, we’ve got you covered.


You see, that desert scene was filmed near Utah’s Great Salt Lake. That lake just so happens to be famous for housing a stinky crustacean called the brine shrimp. And that, dear readers, was the foul smell that caught Will Smith off-guard during Independence Day.

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