LOS ANGELES (AP) — While filming Liberation, Will Smith routinely drew inspiration from the words “sacred motive” written on the first page of the script. winners relied heavily on the phrase even more in recent months as they tried to overcome backlash over their Oscar slaps and expulsion from the ceremony.
Speaking of the words that greeted him when he took on the lead role in Antoine Fuqua’s Liberation, now in theaters, Smith said, “If you can find and center your divine purpose, you can endure anything.” It’s like you can do it,” he said. On Friday he will be streaming on Apple TV+. “Sacred Motivation” has become a theme for him and his castmates, Smith said.
Finished months before Smith stepped onto the Oscar stage, slapping presenter Chris Rock, and joking about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, the film was a grueling shoot. . Inspired by the iconic 1863 photograph showing the scar on his back in “Whip His Peter”, Smith depicts the person Peter. He’s a man who fends off resourceful slave hunters in his quest for freedom and escapes slavery as he bravely fights through the alligator-infested swamps of Louisiana. .
The “Whipped Peter” photo was taken during a Union medical examination that was first published in Harper’s Weekly. An image known as “The Scourged Back” shows countless severed whip marks on Peter’s bare back, delivered by slaves. This photo contributed to the rise of the movement against slavery.
Smith said his character taught him a lesson in overcoming adversity after he faced accusations, memes, and a ten-year Oscar ban. It seemed to have overshadowed career milestones. It came late at night. He was the first actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor for King Richard.
The backlash shook Smith, but ultimately Peter helped keep him on track as well.
“Peter has totally helped me over the last few months, just reestablishing within myself what my purpose is in this world,” Smith said in a recent interview. . He has repeatedly apologized for his actions after accepting the ban.
Normally, “Liberation” might bring Smith some serious Oscar buzz. In response, Smith largely hopes that audiences will still see Fuqua’s films.
“This movie was so painful. Literally across the board, everyone had to put a lot of suffering into what they saw on that screen,” said Smith. I think I can talk about my wish, and my biggest fear, is that my team will be punished for my actions. I really hope that you will let me in.”
Fuqua knows Smith made a mistake, but hopes the audience can get over it. The director believes the story of ‘Emancipation’, in which Peter seeks his freedom, fights to return to his family and is a catalyst for highlighting the horrific side of slavery, is far more important than ‘Slap’. .
“Especially as a black man, Peter’s story is so inspiring. We go through a lot every day just by being black,” he said of “Training Day,” the “Equalizer” movie, and “The Magnificent Seven.” said Fuqua, known for directing . His new film tackles how certain elements of racism still occur in America today.
“For me, it’s a mistake,” Fukua said of Smith hitting The Rock on live TV. “I hope everyone gets back on track, and God bless them. But we’re talking about 400 years of atrocities.
Bingwa, who plays Peter’s wife Dodienne, acknowledges Smith’s ability to persevere through adversity.
“It’s in line with the movie. I think it’s been a tough time,” said Bingwa, who hopes audiences can learn more about Peter’s determination to go home after making an appointment. I’m not going to speak for Will, but he’s been an inspiration to many over the years, and I love seeing him with his head held high, and everyone can learn from his experience. I love the way you put it on your chin, you walk forward with it on.
While promoting the film, Smith held private screenings of influential figures including Rihanna, Tyler Perry, Dave Chappelle, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers teammates, and Morehouse College students. He got a lot of support from those people, and they gave him some sighs of relief.
Each time Smith recalled Peter’s story, he was able to share his character’s journey.
“I am very happy with this project, with these people, in this current situation,” he said. And one of the lessons from Peter is that “suffering leads to salvation.” Therefore, you can take the medicine with confidence. “
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https://wgnradio.com/news/entertainment-news/ap-will-smiths-emancipation-role-taught-him-lesson-post-slap/ Will Smith’s “Liberation” role taught him a lesson after the slap. WGN Radio 720