KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 — After a gradual return to social media and public appearances in recent months, award-winning actor Will Smith is taking further steps back into the spotlight.
The 54-year-old made an appearance at The Daily Show with Trevor Noah yesterday to promote his upcoming drama Emancipation.
He addressed the 94th Academy Awards incident in March where he slapped comedian Chris Rock onstage. Smith won the Best Actor award for his role in 2021 film King Richard later that night.
Smith described it as a horrific night and explained that there were many factors that were in play.
He added that he was going through something that night and admitted that it did not justify his behaviour.
“What I learned from it is that we just got to be nice to each other. I mean like it’s hard and the thing that is most painful to me is, I took my hard and made it hard on other people.
“I understood the idea where they say hurt people hurt (more) people.
“It was a lot of things. It was the little boy that watched his father beat up his mother, you know? All of that just bubbled up at that moment. That is not who I want to be,” Smith said.
The actor was seen getting teary eyed as they continued with the interview.
Aside from that, Smith shared that his nine-year-old nephew confronted him about the incident later that night.
“I understand how shocking that was for the audiences. I was gone, that was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time.
“My little nephew, he was nine and he’s the sweetest little boy. So we came back home and he had stayed up late to see his Uncle Will.
“We were sitting in the kitchen and he was on my lap holding the Oscar and he was just like ‘Why did you hit that man Uncle Will?’ I was like ‘Why are you trying to Oprah me’,” Smith said.
Based on true events, Emancipation stars Smith as a runaway slave who was later known as ‘Whipped Peter’ following photos of his scarred back which exposed the extreme brutality of slavery.
The film will be premiering on December 9 on AppleTV+.