Eight months after he shocked the world by slap comedian Chris Rock during the live broadcast of the Oscars—and afterwards won an Oscar soon after—Will Smith finally has his first major television interview with Daily program’That’s Trevor Noah.
In addition to one Short apology video posted to his own YouTube channel over the summer, Smith has remained largely silent about the incident that ruined his superstar career. But now he’s got a new one Civil War epic liberate, release, free premiering on Apple TV+, the show that could have earned him another Oscar nomination despite being banned from the ceremony for 10 years, he has returned to journalism. And he found a sympathetic interviewer in Noah who was at his end before leave the host chair next weekend.
The two men started off with some small talk about Smith’s recent world travels before moving on to the new film, which he describes as a “liberal film” as opposed to a “free movie”. slave film”. But in the end, they also have to come to the question that until now has not been answered about what really happened on the night of the 2022 Oscars.
When Noah pointed out that it was “a long time” since most people saw Smith on the public stage, the actor joked, “I’ve been away. What you are doing?” And when the host tried to be serious, Smith continued to make jokes and laugh to relieve tension.
“It was a night of terror, as you can imagine.” Smith eventually conceded. “There’s a lot of nuance and complexity to it, but at the end of the day, I just—I lost it. And I guess what I’m going to say is, you never know what someone is going through.” Without being too specific, he said, “I went through something that night that doesn’t justify my behavior.”
Of what he learned from the experience, Smith said, “We have to be nice to each other” and the man who violently responded that night “is not the person I want to be.”
Meanwhile, Noah gave Smith a pass for his “mistake,” saying, “That’s not who you are.” And while he also said that, especially as a friend of Chris Rock, what he did was “damn it,” it wasn’t the kind of unforgivable act that got him put. blacklist in Hollywood.
Smith replied: “I understand how shocking that is for people. And by the end of the interview, it seemed that tears really welled up in his eyes as he described his nine-year-old grandson asking him, “Why did you hit that man, Uncle Will?”
When Noah ended the interview by saying that the incident “shouldn’t define” Smith’s legacy, the audience applauded. He added: “I don’t think any of us in our lives deserve to be defined by our one bad act.
Smith concluded by saying that he had to “forgive himself for being human,” which was something he had never really seen until that night. Now, whenever Chris Rock finally decides to get a similar interview, we’ll have to see if he’ll forgive.