Actor Will Smith makes his rounds on a busy press tour ahead of the release of his upcoming movie emancipation. In the film, Smith plays Peter, an enslaved man who “risks his life for his family and for his freedom.” The 54-year-old recently entered The Shade Room and spoke to Jade Whiteside. He shared that, contrary to what many might think, the film is “not a slave film.”
This is not a slave film. This thing is different – like Antoine [Fuqua] put something else together… You haven’t seen this yet! It is – and I can say it about Antoine because he’s not allowed to say it about himself – but he made a masterpiece. This thing is way beyond anything you’ve seen together This Path. That’s – it’s not a film about slavery. It’s a film about freedom. It’s a film about faith. It’s a film about triumph.
Smith continued by saying he recently screened the film in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When the film ended, he said, “Black people [were] to get up and cheer in the cinema.”
And that’s a real feat that Antoine was able to pull off, not flinching from the brutality, not flinching at all from the pain and humiliation. But also to be able to raise ourselves to a place of strength and gratitude and pride and inspiration. So I would say to these people, this is not that.
Smith also made his first late-night appearance on a US talk show since Slapgate.
Smith also stopped by and made guest appearances The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
While there, he reflected more on the infamous Oscar incident with comedian Chris Rock, adding that his childhood upbringing may have contributed to his actions that night.
It was a lot of things, it was the little boy watching his father beat up his mother. It all just bubbled up at that moment. This is not who I want to be…
quickly interjected Noah, adding some grace for Smith.
You’re not. I think everyone can make a mistake.
Smith continued, adding that he “was going through something that night.” Though that didn’t justify his actions.
There are many nuances and complexities. But at the end of the day I just – I lost it, you know. I guess what I would say is you never know what someone’s going through… I understand how shocking that was for people… I was gone. This was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time.
Smith hopes his actions won’t punish his Emancipation co-stars and crew
As The Shade Room previously reported, Smith has also delved into the impact his actions that Oscar night could have on the outcome of the upcoming film.
The only uneasy thing in my heart is that so many people have done spectacular work on this film. I hope that my team will not be punished at all for my actions… Everyone has done such spectacular work.
https://theshaderoom.com/exclusive-will-smith-steps-into-tsr-ahead-of-emancipation-release-this-is-not-a-slave-movie/ “This Ain’t No Slave Movie…” (Exclusive) Will Smith Talks ‘Emancipation’