Will Smith’s Letterman interview airs with warning: ‘Filmed before the Oscars’
Will Smith appears in his first interview since the slapping incident between him and comedian Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars, which resulted in the actor being banned from the Oscars for 10 years. We see him interviewed by David Letterman for season 4 of the Netflix series, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. In the interview, which was recorded ahead of the Oscars, Will spoke to David about his 2021 memoir, titled Will, and the “pain” stemming from his childhood. The episode was released on Netflix on May 20. Read more: Andrew Garfield reveals who he was texting in viral photo after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at Oscars
Will’s appearance on the show was preceded by the following disclaimer: “This episode was filmed prior to the 2022 Academy Awards.” The Netflix show will also have Cardi B, Kevin Durant, Billie Eilish, and actor Ryan Reynolds as guests this season. Actor Shah Rukh Khan was featured in an episode of the talk show, in 2019.
The My Next Guest Needs No Introduction interview saw Will talk about his memoir, admitting he always thought of himself as “a coward”, due to a traumatic experience when he was nine. According to one! Reporting, Will shared that he witnessed his mother being beaten by his father without him intervening to save her. “Life is so exciting for me right now because I can reach people differently than I’ve ever been able to reach, largely because of my pain,” he said.
Will said his childhood experience inspired him to project a happy and positive image throughout his life. “When I showed up, I wanted people to feel good and be happy…Because I found that when my house was like that, I felt safe,” he said. At one point in the episode, David makes reference to his mother, with the actor jokingly replying, “Don’t say anything about my mother, Dave.” Will also talked about his boxing training for the movie Ali before demonstrating his punching form. To which, David joker, “Show me that, but don’t hit me.”
Will made headlines in March when he stormed the stage at the Oscars and slapped presenter Chris Rock, after the comic pranked his wife, actress Jada Pinkett. The actor returned to the Oscars stage later that night to accept his first award for tennis drama, King Richard. He later apologized for his actions via Instagram, calling them “unacceptable and inexcusable”, and resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Film Academy then banned Will from attending Academy Awards and other Academy functions for the next 10 years.