Before 'The Slap,' Will Smith Envisioned His 'Life Destroyed'

He tells David Letterman of hallucinogenic vision
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2022 12:05 PM CDT
Before 'The Slap,' Will Smith Envisioned Career Ending
Chris Rock, left, and Will Smith.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Well before his infamous Oscars slap, Will Smith recorded an interview with David Letterman for the latter's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction series. Now that it's airing on Netflix, some of the actor's comments are getting a little extra attention.

  • Career: Smith told Letterman he had a disturbing vision after imbibing a psychoactive drink, per Fox News. "So I’m drinking and sitting there and then all of a sudden it’s like I start seeing all of my money flying away, and my house is flying away, and my career is going away," he says. "My whole life is getting destroyed." (That isn't quite happening to Smith, but projects have slowed, and the Oscars banned him for a decade.)
  • Lesson: Smith adds that he came away from the vision with a better outlook. "When I came out of it, I realized that anything that happens in my life, I can handle it," he says. "I can handle any person I lose. I can handle anything that goes wrong in my life. I can handle anything in my marriage. I can handle anything that this life has to offer me."

  • 'Coward': Insider notes that Smith also recalls an episode from his childhood, as recounted in his memoir Will. "The first line of the first chapter is, 'I've always thought of myself as a coward," Smith tells Letterman. "When I was 9 years old, I saw my father beat up my mother, and I didn't do anything. And that just left a traumatic impression of myself as a coward." Smith, of course, went on stage and slapped Chris Rock after Rock made a joke about Smith's wife.
(Letterman also spoke with Billie Eilish, who discussed her Tourette's.)

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