Will Smith recalls “Emancipation” co-stars ignoring and spitting on him


Will Smith recalls “Emancipation” co-stars ignoring and spitting on him +2023

Will Smith was the guest presenter on tonight’s episode of Conversation at the Red Table – instead of his wife and RTT Host Jada Pinkett Smith – where he was joined by his three children Trey, Jaden and Willow. During the episode, he spoke about his grueling experience filming his latest film, emancipationand the treatment he received from his co-stars.

The 2022 drama, directed by Antoine Fuqua, is inspired by the true story of an escaped slave named Gordon. The film, currently streaming on Apple TV+, follows Peter (Smith) as he breaks free from a Louisiana plantation and travels north while being pursued by slavers.

Smith described the physical transformation of playing a slave as “dehumanizing” and “emasculating”. He found the experience difficult to shake off, saying, “Once you’ve experienced these things, they go into the same banks as your actual memories.”

Thankfully, the actor doesn’t seem to hold grudges towards his co-stars; He did, however, tell two stories highlighting his mistreatment on set, both under the guise of method acting.

Halfway through the episode, Ben Foster, who plays slave owner Jim Fassel in the film, joined in via a pre-taped segment to praise Smith’s performance.

“What I saw of Will was an actor I’ve respected for so long, someone doing such important work, not just for his career but for contemporary cinema,” Foster said. He added that Smith’s appearance in emancipation “speaks to the human spirit.”

To the Smith clan’s surprise, Foster also revealed that the two hadn’t spoken to each other in six months.

After his video was completed, Smith said he didn’t realize Foster felt so powerful during filming. He said, “This is the first time I’ve heard all this.”

The actor continued to share his on-set interactions with Foster with his children. Smith recalled that the first day of production was a failure due to weather conditions, but given his dual role as producer, he stuck around to cheer up the production crew.

“I think I did my best Will Smith,” he said. However, when he approached Foster, he was ignored. Smith initially excused the behavior with, “Oh, he must not have seen me.”

The actor continued, “But then he didn’t speak to me for six months. He didn’t make eye contact with me. He didn’t say a word. He didn’t recognize me for six months. I thought, ‘Yeah, got it. We don’t play.’”

Foster and Smith eventually interacted on the final day of filming. Smith said: “So the last day, me and Antoine [Fuqua] we’re on the monitor looking at the recording and Ben comes over – he never came to the monitor – and Antoine said, ‘I’m happy. We have it.'”

Smith says he looked over at Foster and the other actor went to shake his hand and said, “Nice to meet you.”

Earlier in the episode, Smith told his kids about another co-star who “ad-libbing” a scene where he was spat on. After mimicking the action and his shocked reaction, he said, “I was like, ‘Woah, every actor on this set took it really, really seriously.’

Conversation at the Red Table airs Wednesdays on Facebook Watch.

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