Will Smith, who plays the contentious lead role in the period drama Emancipation, is the center of attention as the Oscar-nominated film makes its way into the competition. Apple TV+ is vying for the Oscar for the film. It is the actor’s first major movie role since the 94th Academy Awards in March, where he won the Best Actor statue for King Richard and shocked viewers by slapping Chris Rock after the comedian told a joke that involved the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. It was the actor’s first major movie role since the 94th Academy Awards in March. Smith recently gave an interview in which he made it very apparent that he desires the attention of moviegoers to be directed toward the remaining members of the movie’s creative team.
Kevin McCarthy of Fox 5 was told by the actor who stars in Men in Black that the actor’s “deepest worry is his team.” “The members on this team have done some of the best work of their entire lives, and my deepest wish is that the steps I’ve taken won’t penalize my team in any way.”
Antoine Fuqua, director of such critically acclaimed movies as “Training Day” and “The Equalizer,” has just released his newest picture, “Emancipation.” The film is based on the true story of a slave named Peter who joined the Union Army during the American Civil War in order to flee a cruel lifestyle in the Deep South. The film is set during the war. It is the first time that Smith has collaborated with Fuqua, and the actor has stated that he believes the director has surpassed his previous achievements. Smith makes the observation that “Antoine has done what I think is the greatest work of his entire career,” while also highlighting the contributions of the film’s cinematographer, Robert Richardson, and other cast members like Ben Foster and Charmaine Bingwa.
Naturally, the actor is well aware of the fact that the slap received on Oscar night is still echoing across the business and may discourage audiences from viewing Emancipation either in theaters or at home. McCarthy asks Will Smith what he would say to those moviegoers who aren’t necessarily ready to watch a Will Smith movie right now, and Smith responds that he “totally understands” that feeling.
“I would completely respect that, and allow them their space to not be ready,” he says, restating his hope that audiences and Hollywood, in general, will look beyond his presence in the movie to enable the work of other people to shine through. “I would allow them their space to not be ready,” he adds. He says, “At this point, that’s what I’m aiming for.” “I’m hoping that the good that can be completed would open people’s hearts at a minimum to see and recognize and support the incredible artists who are in and around this film. I’m hoping that the material, the power of the film, and the promptness of the story will do this,” said the director. “I’m hoping that the content, the power of the film, and the timeliness of the story.”
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, which also featured other members of the cast of the film, Smith shared similar comments. He makes the observation that the fact that “so many people have done wonderful work on this picture” is the only thing that makes his heart uneasy about what has been said. “I definitely lose a couple of winks of sleep every night thinking that I could have potentially penalized my team, but I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that everyone gets seen in the light that they deserve,” he said. “It’s important to me that everyone gets the recognition they deserve.”
Even though the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted to exclude Smith from the Oscars for a period of 10 years in the wake of the March telecast — after the actor had already resigned from the organization — he is still eligible to be nominated for the award for Best Actor. This is an important point to keep in mind. In the event that Emancipation ends up having a good showing at the awards, it would offer additional drama to the Oscar ceremony that would be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel the following year. (Rock is rumored to have stated that he was presented with the opportunity to host the 2023 Academy Awards, but he turned down the position. In addition, Smith apologized for his actions in a video posted to YouTube in September, but the comic has not yet accepted his apologies.
Kimmel has previously indicated that he will discuss the occurrence, as he said to Extra: “It is necessary for it to be discussed in some fashion. I’m not trying to make light of the situation in any way. Comedians are outraged by it… but of course, you have to take it into account. When it was my turn to host the Oscars one year, they accidentally announced the wrong winner, and they had to bring it up the following year. I have a feeling that there will be something.”