Oscar-Winner Will Smith Admits Going Too Far for This Iconic Role to Kevin Hart

Published 08/05/2023, 9:30 AM EDT

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Spanning from Bad Boys to Men in Black, Will Smith has consistently captured the spotlight not only for his acting prowess but also for his relentless dedication. For those who came of age in the vibrant 80s and 90s, Smith is an integral part of their cherished memories. Whether he was weaving verses about teenage trials or confronting extraterrestrial foes, Smith’s journey resonates with nostalgia.

His philosophy of success has empowered him to embrace diverse and challenging roles across his cinematic repertoire. In a recent installment of Kevin Hart’s Peacock show, Hart to Heart, Smith revealed that he pushed the boundaries to an unprecedented extent for a particular role in his career.

Will Smith and his unwavering drive to push limits

Like a bolt of lightning, the perpetually enigmatic Smith electrified headlines with a thunderous jolt of controversy. This was when he unexpectedly slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars. While a chorus of celebrity voices, including Kevin Hart and Joe Rogan’s, echoed in his support, questions also reverberated through the air. Post this dramatic incident, Smith embarked on a comeback journey with Emancipation. It delved into the abyss of history to portray an enslaved man. The role’s grip on him was so profound that shaking off the character’s weight proved to be an arduous feat.

The cinematic narrative unfurled around the true-life tale of a man who defied the shackles of slavery. A soul immortalized in the poignant contours of the famed 1863 photograph, ‘Whipped Peter.’ In an unwavering quest to fathom the depths of slavery’s harrowing brutality, Smith plunged into an abyss of empathy that transcended the silver screen. “Just bringing it up, I start to get teary,” Smith confided to Hart.

Amidst his portrayal, he found himself momentarily trapped in the clutches of real chains. It was an experience that sent shivers down his spine. The haunting specter of the character lingered even within his dreams. Through Emancipation, Peter ignited a spiritual awakening, forging an unbreakable bond of faith.

In the rich tapestry of films delving into the poignant theme of emancipation and slavery, Emancipation finds itself in the company of other cinematic gems.

Cinematic treasures of emancipation and slavery

There is a compelling selection of films that navigate the complex tapestry of emancipation and slavery. Among these, the 2013 masterpiece 12 Years a Slave chronicles the journey of an African American man. He was ensnared by the cruel clutches of slavery in Washington, DC. In a mesmerizing narrative dance, Harriet unfurled the story of a courageous young girl’s escape from bondage, adding to her transformation into an indomitable abolitionist.

Django Unchained also graces the streaming platform. It weaved a tale of Django’s emancipation and his relentless pursuit to rescue his wife from the chains of captivity. Among these gems is Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom, starring the dynamic duo of Idris Elba and Naomi Harris. It immerses you in the epic voyage of Nelson Mandela’s life.

Have you watched Emancipation? What do you think of Smith’s efforts in the character? Let us know in the comments below.



Riva Khan

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Riva Khan is an entertainment reporter at NetflixJunkie. Given her love for the language and writing, she has honed her narrative skills from a young age. She loves her latest tea in Hollywood and keeps an eye on the news.