“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

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Will Smith recently starred in the 2022 movie titled Emancipation. The movie marked the first project that the actor received ever since the infamous Oscar-slap controversy. The Men in Black actor revealed during an interview how grueling the making of the movie was.


The actor recalled a tiresome time when he was called the N-word a couple hundred times due to the theme of the movie.

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

Will Smith Recalls The Gruesome Shooting of Emancipation

Will Smith, having starred in the period drama, recalls the time during the shooting of Emancipation. The movie is most notably famous for offering the King Richard actor a helping hand when no one else did following the Oscar-slap controversy.


At the premiere of Emancipation in Los Angeles, the actor sat for an interview to talk about his latest project. One of the major challenges the actor faced during the time of shooting was painfully close to the heart of Will Smith. The actor recalled that he was called the N-word a couple of hundred times during the shooting of the movie. The usage of the word was not done to hurt the actor (obviously) but because it was part of the movie and the story that it depicted.

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Also read: “That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time”: An Emotional Will Smith Talks to Trevor Noah About the Oscars Slap Incident on The Daily Show

Here’s what Will Smith had to say about the shooting of the Emancipation and how the actors had to struggle in the grueling atmosphere to create the film.


“Yeah. You know, getting called the N-word 100 times a day by really good actors — it was rough. But, you know, it was really – it was difficult for everybody. It’s like recreating those scenes and, you know, having to — we’re out there in a lot of the actual locations where those things happened and, you know, it was — it was a brutal shoot. The weather was brutal, the subject matter. And it was like, you know, in order to sustain the energy of the film, it was like everybody was having to tap into real ugliness, you know?”.

The film, directed by Antoine Fuqua, boasted an impressive cast of Will Smith, and Ben Foster but was not very well received by the people since they still have not forgiven Will Smith for the Oscar incident.

Suggested: “It was the little boy that watched his father beat up his mother”: Will Smith Blames His Past Trauma For His Controversial Oscar Moment With Chris Rock

Will Smith’s Emancipation Turned Out To Be A Failure

Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars 2021.
Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the 2021 Oscars.

Related: “Always good to see ol’ Slappy Smith back”: Fans Troll Will Smith After He Says He Respects Audience Decision To Not See Him in ‘Emancipation’


Emancipation boasted an impressive storyline along with a spectacular cast. The film followed a slave who ran away from his plantation owners and journeys across the Louisiana swamp, a story that sounds thrilling enough as it is. The movie, however, did not reach people’s expectations. Emancipation currently stands at a Metacritic score of 59%. The early reviews of the film haven’t been impressive so far either.

It seems to be a matter of personal hatred as the people may have not forgiven Will Smith for the Oscar-slap controversy and thus have review-bombed the movie because of it. It may also be the case that the movie was not well made and was actually a disappointment to the people. Either way, it does not look good for the actor.

Emancipation is slated for a streaming release date of 9th December 2022 on AppleTV+.


Source: Marca


Written by Visarg Acharya

Articles Published: 2171

Visarg Acharya, Associate Content Writer, has been heavily involved in movies, series, and history. Having an experience of 2 years in the field of content writing, Visarg is a seasoned writer. Having a degree in Physics, Visarg Acharya has published a dissertation alongside a plethora of poems and short stories along the way.