Will Smith attended the African American Film Critics Association Awards to receive the Beacon Award accompanied by his ‘Emancipation’ director Antoine Fuqua.
This was Will Smith’s first appearance at an award function after the incident of his slapping Chris Rock on the stage at the Academy Awards.
“It was our hope that Emancipation, that it would be able to bring Peter’s triumphant story and unwavering faith and his deep love for his family to life.” The director started thanking Apple, AAFCA, and the film’s cast and crew and then handed over the mic to Smith.
“Emancipation was the most individual difficult film of my entire career,” the actor began his speech. “It’s really difficult to transport a modern mind to that time period. It’s difficult to imagine that, that level of inhumanity.”
The actor continued, “I sat there, and I took a deep breath, and we did take two, and the actor felt that the ad-lib had gone well. So, we do take two. I do my line. He does his line and spits in the middle of my chest again. I just held in that moment, and there was a part — it makes me teary right now — there was a part of me that was grateful that I got to really understand. And then, in the distance, I hear a voice, and Antoine says, ‘Hey, let’s do a take without the spit.’ And in that moment, I knew that God was real.”