He is currently making a switch to directing Hollywoodfilms after L'ultimo bacio won the Audience Award for World Cinema at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival bringing him to the attention of the American film industry. Muccino was handpicked by Will Smith to serve as the director of The Pursuit of Happyness. Muccino said in a later interview, "Will had to defend me as a choice to the studio; I could barely speak English and I could barely express my vision. I felt protected and that I could push my ideas even when they weren't totally conventional. The reason why I found respect, and respect for my ideas, was because of Will." Muccino also directed Smith's later film, Seven Pounds.