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Will Smith makes first awards show appearance since assaulting Chris Rock
Photo: © ANP

Will Smith makes first awards show appearance since assaulting Chris Rock

Will Smith makes first awards show appearance since assaulting Chris Rock
Photo: © ANP

Will Smith has made his first appearance at a major awards show since assaulting Chris Rock at the Academy Awards almost a year ago.

At the 2022 Oscars, Smith infamously made headlines around the world when he walked on to the stage and slapped the comedian across the face. Rock was on the stage as part of the ceremony and, as part of his routine, alluded to Jada Pinkett Smith's alopecia.

Later that night, Smith won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in King Richard, but he would subsequently receive a 10-year ceremony ban for his previous actions.

He has largely kept away from the public eye since then but has started in a new movie, Emancipation, which tells the story of an African American's escape from slavery.

At the 14th Annual African-American Film Critics Association Awards, he explained how difficult it was to make the movie.

"Emancipation was the individual most difficult film of my entire career," Smith said.

 "I remember it was the second day of shooting and it's really difficult to transport a modern mind to that time period. It's difficult to imagine that level of inhumanity. I remember it was like 110 degrees, we're out there and I'm in a scene with one of the white actors. We had our line and the actor decided to ad-lib.

"So we're doing the scene and I did my line and he did his line and then he ad-libbed... spitting in the middle of my chest.

"So, 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... 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 of me that was grateful that I got to really understand."

Smith jokingly explained that director Antoine Fuqua asked for a take without the split, which prompted him to say "And in that moment...I knew God was real."

The Oscar-winning actor did not mention or make any references to his altercation with Rock.

Will Smith slaps Chris Rock

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