Will Smith Talks To Trevor Noah About New Movie ‘Emancipation’

Actor Will Smith has opened up about his life after that fateful Oscar night when he slapped comedian Chris Rock.

Speaking to host Trevor Noah on The Daily Show, Will revealed he had flown 30 hours from Bhutan to make the appearance. 

Bhutan, officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked country in South Asia. 

He was there to talk about his new movie Emancipation and the inspiration behind it.

Directed by Antoine Fuqua, Emancipation is based on the true story of Gordon, a man who escaped enslavement in Louisiana and who then became the subject of a series of photos that were published as part of an 1863 Harper’s Weekly article, titled “A Typical Negro”. 

Gordon had severe keloid scarring on his back from being whipped. 

In one picture, his back, revealing his scars, is turned to the camera – it’s a truly devastating image.

The photo, which became known as the “scourged back” picture, became integral to the work of the abolitionist movement as it was widely circulated as proof of the brutality meted out to slaves. 

Will, who described Emancipation as a “freedom movie”, said it brought to light the incomprehensible levels of human cruelty of slavery. 

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Will said he was intrigued about the story of Gordon’s enhanced belief in God whom he claimed to have met while in a coma from the severe beating he endured.

However, there was no glossing over the ramifications of the uncharacteristic assault Smith visited on Rock on Oscar night all those months ago.

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Will said his biggest hurt was that Emancipation represented some of the best work other talented people had done and his own mistake was turning some people away from the movie

Will said: “But one thing that’s thing killing me, you know… So, Emancipation is Antoine’s masterpiece… he has created an absolute masterpiece… Bob Richardson the DP and Ben Foster and just all the way down… it’s like these top artists in the world have done some of the best work of their career, yeah… And the idea that they might be denied because of me is like oh (growls).”

  • Emancipation Content Rating: R
  • Director: Antoine Fuqua
  • Writer: Bill Collage
  • Stars: Will Smith, Ben Foster, Grant Harvey
  • Genre: Action, Thriller
  • Release Date: 2022-12-09