$1000 A GO: Will Smith lookalike cashes in on infamous Oscar slap

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A Will Smith lookalike says he's never been more in demand since the now infamous Oscar slap – with strangers constantly stopping him in the street to discuss it.

Shad Ellis, 43, from Bedfordshire in the UK, has spent two-and-a-half decades appearing at nightclubs, weddings and corporate events across the globe as a doppelgänger.

Since last month's moment – which saw Smith, 53, storm the stage to slap Chris Rock, 57, after a joke was made about his wife Jada Smith's alopecia – demand for Shad's appearances have gone through the roof.

The performance artist, who charges at least £600 ($1050) per appearance, is also having to deal with a lot of comments from strangers and friends alike – both in person and online.

His go to Will Smith look is from the Men In Black franchise. Source: Jam Press/ Australscope
His go to Will Smith look is from the Men In Black franchise. Source: Jam Press/ Australscope

He is even being stopped in the street by onlookers who think he is the real Will Smith.

Thankfully, people are mostly curious about the uncanny resemblance between the pair.

"I get comments about it daily," Shad told Jam Press.

"When I'm at my day job people always ask me about it and point it out to me.

"I had a guy last week stop me to say how much I look like Will Smith. We spoke for a bit and he ended the conversation by jokingly saying 'Don't slap me'.

Shad is a real crowdpleaser. Source: Jam Press/ Australscope
Shad is a real crowdpleaser. Source: Jam Press/ Australscope

"It's all in good humour."

Side hustle pays off the mortgage for Will Smith wannabe

Shad works as a lookalike part-time, having done it on the side for over 25 years.

Although he won't share exactly how much he makes through his second job, it allowed him to buy his first house aged just 21 and "drive nice cars".

However, despite benefitting financially from the controversial moment, he "doesn't condone violence" – but can see both sides of the argument.

"[Giving] my thoughts, it was hard for me to comprehend what was happening," he said.

"But after seeing the full situation pan out, I get it from both sides.

"I think we all as humans are capable of a flash point triggered by a raw emotion or feeling, and regardless of the situation, once you see red everything around you becomes blurred.

"I strongly disagree – he should [not] have slapped him, but how many of us do an action we immediately regret after doing it, driven by being caught in your feelings or the moment."

Despite looking like Smith's twin, Shad is yet to meet the Oscar-winning actor in person.

He added: "I was set to work with him earlier this year as his body double on a project, but while I was there filming, news came in that he had to reschedule his part in the shoot.

"That was a bit gutting."

- Jam Press/ Australscope

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