Will Smith talks about starring in first movie since infamous Oscars slap

For the first time, Will Smith is answering questions about slapping Chris Rock at the Academy Awards and how it might impact his career moving forward.

Smith sat down with FOX 32 Entertainment Reporter Jake Hamilton to talk about his new film, EMANCIPATION – and Hamilton asked the actor about whether or not audiences are ready for a new film from him seven months after what happened at the Oscars. 

"I feel like that’s the type of thing that you would say before you sit in the movie theater," Smith said. "I would hope that the importance of the story and the importance of Peter rise above those feelings and emotions. It certainly has been a difficult last few months and I would just hope that these spectacular artists who have come together on this project – I would hope that they would not be penalized for a few horrific moments of indiscretion on my part."

Smith added, "It was interesting that the playing of Peter lead into this last few months of my life and there was a new idea that came through – the ability to have an open heart in hell is the only way to be here. That is the giant spiritual lesson that I took away from Peter, it’s the lesson of all of our holy books – it’s: can we have an open heart in hell? And for me, when I look at Peter and when I see humans who have learned how to do that, that is the north star for me. I will purify my heart and I will purify my mind and purify my actions to the point where I can comfortably with my heart wide open in hell."


"Emancipation" starts streaming on AppleTV+ on Friday, Dec. 9.