HomeArts and EntertainmentsWill Smith returns to awards stage for the first time since last Oscars

Will Smith returns to awards stage for the first time since last Oscars

Will Smith returns to awards stage for the first time since last Oscars

Will Smith made his first in-person speech at an awards ceremony since his controversy at the Oscars last year, where he famously slapped Chris Rock.

Smith accepted the Beacon Award at the African American Film Critics Association Awards on Wednesday alongside his “Emancipation” director Antoine Fuqua.

After Fuqua spoke, thanking the cast and crew, he passed the microphone to Smith.

“‘Emancipation’ was the most individual difficult film of my entire career,” Smith said. “It’s really difficult to transport a modern mind to that time period. It’s difficult to imagine that level of inhumanity.”

Smith plays an enslaved man named Peter in the AppleTV+ movie, and described filming one scene where another actor ad-libbed and spit on him during a take.

“It was the second day of shooting and 110 degrees,” he said. “I was in a scene with one of the White actors, and we had our lines, and the actor decided to ad-lib. So, we’re doing the scene. I did my line. He did his line. And then he ad-libbed and spit in the middle of my chest. If I had pearls on, I definitely would’ve clutched them. I wanted to say, ‘Antoineeeeee,’ but I stopped, and I realized that Peter couldn’t have called the director.”

Smith continued describing the scene.

“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,” Smith said. “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.”

Smith did not attend the NAACP Image Awards last weekend, where he won the best actor award for his performance in the film, but he expressed his gratitude on social media for the recognition.

Chris Rock, 58, who has made brief jokes about being assaulted on stage by Will at the 2022 Oscars awards ceremony, has had his upcoming live Netflix special scheduled for broadcast on March 4, with insiders saying it will be packed with jibes at Will.

Chris said he has teamed up with “veteran” comedy writers to make sure his show and material are “solid” and funny.

This year’s Oscars ceremony, the first under Will’s 10-year ban, is less than 2 weeks away … but the Motion Picture Academy says there won’t be any hi-jinks like last year, now that its new “crisis team” is ready to crack down on any potential drama.

This article was reported by CNN.