Ahead of his upcoming film ‘Emancipation’, American movie star Will Smith has recounted a ‘memorable’ event from the Oscars night that saw him win his first-ever Oscar and the controversial slap that almost ruined his career.
On Trevor Noah’s “The Daily Show” on Monday night, the ace actor discussed his latest project, hoping the altercation between him and Chris Rock doesn’t affect the audience’s reception of the new movie.
“The idea that they might be denied because of me,” said Smith as he groaned.
“That is killing me dead … I hope that their work will be honored and their work will not be tainted based on a horrific decision on my part.
“The people on this team have done some of the best work of their entire careers, and my deepest hope is that my actions don’t penalize my team. At this point, that’s what I’m working for.”
When asked exactly what transpired on the eventful Oscars night, Smith described it as ‘horrific’ adding ‘he lost his cool’.
Smith explained a childhood history he felt might have greatly contributed to his outburst, saying:
“It was a lot of things, it was the little boy that watched his father beat up his mother. All of that just bubbled up in that moment. That’s not who I want to be …”
Noah interjecting said: “That’s not who you are. I think everybody can make a mistake.”
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After wiping his eyes and regaining his composure, Smith continued: “That was a horrific night, as you can imagine.
“There’s many nuances and complexities to it. But at the end of the day, I just – I lost it, you know. I guess what I would say is that you just never know what somebody’s going through.
“I was going through something that night, you know? Not that that justifies my behaviour at all.
“I understand how shocking that was for people … I was gone. That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time.”
At the 94th Academy Awards in March, Smith took to the stage and slapped presenter Chris Rock across the face, in response to a joke Rock made about Smith’s wife’s shaven head.
It is not known if Rock knew Jada Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia.
Smith, who an hour later picked up the best actor award for his performance in tennis drama King Richard, subsequently apologised to Rock and to the Academy. He was banned from all Oscars events for 10 years.