At the end of a trying year, Will Smith is weighing the challenging process of making his new film emancipation.
Smith is joined by his children Willow, Jayden and Trey Smith as part of the acquisition for Facebook Watch. Red Table Talk Wednesday to discuss the “harsh and transformative” shoot for director Antony Fuqua’s slavery-centered drama. emancipationIt’s now streaming on Apple TV+, making it Smith’s first release since slapping Oscar host Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards on March 27.
During a conversation with his family, the star won the best actor award King Richard At that event, there was no direct mention of the Oscars or anything specific to deal with its fallout. Notably missing from the sit-down were Jada Pinkett Smith — the subject of Rock’s Oscars comedy that led Smith to confront the comedian — and her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, who both usually co-host. Red Table Talk With Willow Smith.
In the 35-minute episode, Smith recounted the hardships he felt while wearing shackles and chains similar to those worn by slaves during the era depicted in the fact-based film. emancipation Smith stars as Peter, a slave who escapes to the North and joins the Union Army, and his fatal whipping scars are depicted in a photograph that helps strengthen the abolitionist movement.
“Once you’ve experienced those things, they go into the same banks as your real memories,” he says, wearing chains like Peter. “You don’t have a separate place for acting. Your brain and your body recognize it the same way it recognizes real memories. You have nightmares about it the same way, so it’s all kind of stuff.
Smith recalled his turn as a con artist in the 1993 film Six degrees of separation “It’s the only time in my career where I’ve gone too far with a role.” He later clarified, “I wouldn’t say I went too far with Peter – I lost track of how far I went. I turned around a little bit there. “
“When you go a click too far, Will Smith disappears, and then what happens is, mentally, you go too far for Peter, and you don’t realize ‘you’ are slipping away, and then it’s over, and you come back, and you look for yourself, and you’re gone. It’s a hard thing to explain, right? So what happens — you play these characters, and when you play them long enough, it’s like moving to another country and speaking another language. If you speak another language for too long, you start to lose your mother tongue.
He described it as “terrifying” to find himself immersed in the role he was playing: “It’s enjoyable to be in a scene, and you forget that moment you’re on camera and you’re lost. It’s enjoyable, except when they say ‘cut’ and you come back for yourself, right? [Pantomimes reaching behind himself and grasping at air.] It’s a strange thing, but I got there to that terrifying, blissful edge.
Fuqua said previously Vanity Fair Oscar followed particularly hard emancipation Shoot. “It’s really hard to release a character who is brutalized and called the N-word every day — constantly, every day — and still is the nicest person in the world,” Training day Helmer said at the time. “That, I know. So there’s no excuse for anybody or anything, but I can say he’s a good guy, and I hope people can forgive him and we can move on.
Smith also recalled Red Table Talk Co-star Ben Foster, who plays the man who oversees the slave camp, did not address Smith throughout filming to stay in character.
“Fox was six months old, he didn’t talk to me,” Smith said. “He didn’t make eye contact with me. He didn’t say a word. He didn’t acknowledge me for six months. Smith credits his co-star’s attention for setting the tone for the film and added of Foster’s final day on set: “I look at Ben — it’s his last day — and he Says, ‘Nice to meet you, Ben’.”
During an interview with Trevor Noah on the episode The Daily Show On air last month, Smith spoke extensively about her infamous Oscars moment, saying, “People hurt people.” He said, “Believe me, there is no one who hates the fact that I am more human than myself. And I’m finding that space within myself to be human.