Will Smith resumed on Wednesday Red table discussion and, spoiler alert, neither Chris Rock nor “the slap” are mentioned. Instead, the actor sat down with his three children — Trey Smith, Jaden Smith and Willow Smith — to talk about the significance of his new movie. Emancipation.
“It was rugged,” Will said on the Facebook Watch show, which is usually hosted by his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, stepmother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and Willow. “It’s not a slave movie, it’s a freedom movie.”
“We had calls while you were filming and I was really worried,” Willow admitted.
“Over the years, I’ve gotten more and more locked into these characters for longer periods of time. It’s just the weight of that story, the weight of those experiences, the quality of the actors. It was emotionally, c It was physically, it was spiritually taxing,” Will said.
Willow admitted she had reservations about her famous dad “making a slave movie.”
“Well, you know, originally I was planning on doing Django [Unchained]”, Will recalled from the 2012 Quentin Tarantino film. “We had a family reunion and we all talked about [it.]”
“Yes, yes, yes” Willow remembered.
“I wasn’t completely on the inside, but one of the main reasons I wasn’t was the expression on your faces because you knew what that would mean,” Will said, explaining how his “characters infiltrate” the Smith Household. Will previously said he died Django Unchained as he “couldn’t connect with violence being the answer” in Tarantino’s story. The role eventually went to Jamie Foxx.
Emancipation is not without its grueling scenes. Will said he was called the n-word “a hundred times a day by some really good actors”. The Apple Originals movie also stars Ben Foster and Charmaine Bingwa.
“It’s hard, it twists your mind,” he explained. In the film, Will plays Peter, the real-life slave who escapes from a Louisiana plantation to join the Union Army. The film is based on the iconic 1863 photo known as “Whipped Peter” which shows the soldier’s scarred back. On RTTWill recalled an intense moment during pre-production when he got stuck in a neck chain.
“So they put it on, I’m there and he’s going to take it off and it’s not working. So it’s locked and my heart jumps and I’m like, ‘Oh no, oh no, oh no,'” said Will. “My heart is racing and I’m like, ‘Will, don’t freak out.'”
Will said to himself, “I’m Will Smith”, explaining that there were “people running around” looking for the keys.
“I’m still scared. Imagine what it was like for Peter to have this thing, barefoot and nobody cared,” Will continued, agreeing with Willow who likened the situation to physical claustrophobia. and emotional.
“Really dehumanizing,” Will said. “I hadn’t been able to articulate why, but I felt embarrassed. I was embarrassed while I was there and waiting. It was emasculating, dehumanizing, all that stuff.”
Will went on to say that “the only other time in my career” he “got lost and went too far” with a character shooting the 1993 film SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION in which he played a crook.
“I wouldn’t say I went too far with Peter, I just lost sight of how far I went,” Will added. “I got a little twisted in there.”
“You go into a state and when you go one click too far Will Smith disappears and what happens is, psychologically you go further and father into Peter and you don’t realize you’re drifting away. And then it’s finished, and you come back, and you look for yourself and you’re gone. It’s a hard thing to explain, isn’t it? ” Will told his children. (Read it as you want, but no, Will was not filming Emancipation when he stormed the stage at the Oscars and punched Rock.)
“So what happens is 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 the other language long enough, you will start to lose your mother tongue,” he added. .
Will told his children that it was “essential” for their “generation to see this film and understand the basics of this story and what it means in this country”.
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