in , ,
- Advertisment -

“About 15 minutes….I was actually locked in the chains”: Will Smith Admits Harrowing Experience on ‘Emancipation’ Set Made Him Realize How Privileged He is

"About 15 minutes....I was actually locked in the chains": Will Smith Admits Harrowing Experience on 'Emancipation' Set Made Him Realize How Privileged He is

Will Smith has been in the news and for only good reasons this time as his new movie Emancipation hit the screens earlier this month in December 2022. Emancipation is a historical drama directed by Antoine Fuqua that talks about slavery. Will Smith plays the role of a man from the 1860s who gets commandeered from his owner by the Confederate Army in Louisiana. He is taken to a work camp in Clinton, Louisiana, away from his family to work on a plantation.

During the promotion of the movie, Will Smith in an interview talked about a horrifying incident that took place on set where the chains on his neck wouldn’t come off owing to the wrong keys that took him down the alleys of fear and claustrophobia.

Will Smith in Emancipation (2022).
Will Smith in Emancipation (2022).

Will Smith’s Role in Emancipation Was New to Him

Although Will Smith is a veteran with performances across almost every genre. The Suicide Squad actor however had actually never done a role involving oppression and slavery throughout his extensive career. The movie is loosely attached to the life of Peter, the man whose slavery-stricken photo of his back covered with marks of belting all over is quite popular on the internet.

Smith said he didn’t want to portray “Black folks in that light,” but felt that the portrayal of this story was rather about breaking the shackles and finding freedom through hard times which is contrary to what movies about slavery usually depict.

“Antoine didn’t make a movie about slavery,” Smith said. “It’s a movie about freedom, it’s a movie about love, it’s a movie about family, it’s a movie about faith, it’s a movie about endurance and gratitude, and it’s a movie about the power of the spirit of the African-American.”

Will Smith reveals he found his character during a moment when the camera stopped rolling and the crew was trying to open his metal neck cuff but it wouldn’t come off. The crew kept trying, then went on searching for the correct keys as Smith kneeled on the floor, tied up and stuck in his character as Peter as he watched everyone run around trying to set him free, much similar to what the essence of the movie he was shooting for was.

Will Smith in Emancipation
Will Smith in Emancipation

Also read: “You know, getting called the N-word…it was rough”: Will Smith Was Pushed to His Limits While Filming ‘Emancipation’ After Fans Call Upcoming Movie ‘Oscar-Bait’ to Make People Forget Chris Rock Controversy

Will Smith Believes His Role in the Movie Was Gruelling and Transformative

It was all praises from Will and the director, Antoine Fuqua, for each other in the interviews leading up to the release of their movie Emancipation. Both of them didn’t shy away from applauding each other’s efforts they had put into the making of the slavery drama. Antoine believes that Smith is one unique actor and individual as he says, ‘I’ve never met anyone like Will Smith’.

Will Smith had only amazement and gratitude towards the director as the actor believes this movie is his hardest and best work so far. He believes Antoine put the narrative of the movie as a thing about love and family, filled with compassion and the power of faith.

The actor also showed concerns about believing the movie wouldn’t turn out quite as expected since his infamous incident at The Oscars incident is still very fresh in the minds of his fans. In an interview, he expresses his anticipation,

“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. So at this point, that’s what I’m working for. That’s what I’m hoping for.”

Will Smith [March 27, 2022]
Will Smith [March 27, 2022]
No matter the extent of the actor’s apology for the unfortunate incident, it is only up to the fans to make the final judgment as Emancipation hit the theatres on 9 December 2022 and is currently streaming on Apple TV+.

Also read: ‘This really rams it home’: Will Smith Reportedly Can’t Fathom Being Utterly Humiliated After ‘Emancipation’ Golden Globes Oscar Snub


Source: Red Table Talk

Written by Rupam Basak

Engineer turned Businessman, writes for the joy of it. Often curious. Keeps his Spotify List out of reach.