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Will Smith Speaks About ‘Pain’ and Family in New Interview Recorded Before Oscars Slap

Will Smith‘s first interview since the infamous Oscars slap can now be watched on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, David Letterman’s Netflix talk show. Making it clear to viewers that the interview was recorded before the Oscars, the nearly hour-long episode begins with a disclaimer noting that this conversation happened before Smith smacked Chris Rock on stage for telling a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith.

While the interview happened earlier in the year, there are moments that stand out in light of what the King Richard star wound up doing at the Academy Awards. At one point, he tells Letterman that protecting his family is impossible. He also suggests that he has a fear of losing everything at any moment, another comment that seems peculiar now when considering the immense backlash against Smith and his career “cancelation” that saw him turning into someone who was seemingly universally beloved to widely maligned literally overnight .


“Life is so exciting to me right now, because I can reach people differently than I’ve ever been able to reach people, largely because of my pain,” Smith explains. “I’m really ready to dive into my heart in a way that I think will be, hopefully, fulfilling for me and helpful for the human family.”

He added, “You can not protect your family, that’s not real. Protection and safety is an illusion. You have to learn to live with the reality that any moment, anything can be gone in one second. So with that reality, how can you be here? And how can you be joyful and be here? “

Related: Wanda Sykes Is ‘Still Traumatized’ Over Oscars Slap, Blasts Will Smith

Will Smith’s Career Has Had a Setback, But Is He Really Canceled?

It’s safe to say that Will Smith has fewer fans now than he did before the end of March. That is not to say that his career is over. There have been reports of different film projects featuring Smith getting postponed or shelved, including the sequel Bad Boys 4 with Martin Lawrence. As time goes on, however, the backlash against Smith as been easing, and a new update on the status of Bad Boys 4 is that the film is back on track. Perhaps his other film projects will follow suit.

Michael Bay, who directed Smith in the first two Bad Boys films, has also stood by the actor. He observed the criticism against Smith and while he admitted that the slapping incident was surprising to see, it has not stopped him from wanting to work with Smith again on a future project. Bay’s opinion is that the incident is small potatoes compared to other things happening in the world right now.

“First of all, it’s wrong to do, no matter what. Let’s just get that out there,” Bay said, per EW. “But when people said, ‘Oh, he could have killed him.’ No, a slap is different. A punch? Yeah, you can kill someone. Will gave him a slap. I’m thinking, Everyone’s talking about this, but you know what? You start thinking about life and it’s like, ‘Oh, my God. ‘”

He added, “Because I’ve been very affected by this Ukrainian war right now. I’m friends with the Klitschko brothers. I’ve been to Kyiv, I’ve met with the mayor. And I’m like, you know what? There are babies getting blown up by the hundreds right now and people are so concerned about this. I do not know. To me, it’s just like, enough of it. All right, so a dramatic thing happened, but I just think we’ve got to get our priorities straight. “

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman is streaming on Netflix.

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