Will Smith received the Beacon Award at the African-American Film Critics Association Awards and spoke about his latest film, Emancipation. The event marked Smith’s return to attending public ceremonies after a hiatus following slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars. Smith recounted an incident on the set where another actor spat at him during a scene.
“It was the second day of shooting and 110 degrees,” Smith said. “I was in a scene with one of the White actors, and we had our lines, and the actor decided to ad-lib. So, we’re doing the scene. I did my line. He did his line. And then he ad-libbed and spit in the middle of my chest. If I had pearls on, I definitely would’ve clutched them. I wanted to say, ‘Antoineeeeee,’ but I stopped, and I realized that Peter couldn’t have called the director.”
Will Smith says he was spit on by White actor while filming ‘Emancipation’
“So I sat there, and I took a deep breath, and we did take two, and the actor felt that the ad-lib had gone well, He does his line and spits in the middle of my chest again. And I just held in that moment, It makes me teary right now. There was a part of me that was grateful that I got to really understand. And then in the distance, I hear a voice: Antoine says, ‘Hey, let’s do a take without the spit,’ And I knew that God was real.”
In the movie, Smith portrays Peter, an enslaved man, and the incident occurred when his captors mistreated him. Despite the problematic scene, Smith expressed his admiration for his fellow cast and crew members, stating that their ability to create such powerful moments makes cinema unique.
“‘Emancipation’ was the most individual difficult film of my entire career, “It’s really difficult to transport a modern mind to that time period. It’s difficult to imagine that, that level of inhumanity.”
via – latimes