After the stunned audience for punching actor Chris Rock during the broadcast of the Academy Awards, Will Smith returned to late night television on Monday and sat down with Trevor Noah on. The Daily Show.
The interview comes eight months after the Oscars controversy and a series of online comments regarding the event. When Noah asked Smith about his experience following the bad moment, Smith said it was a “terrible night.”
“There’s a lot of different and complicated aspects to it. But at the end of the day, I just—I’ve lost it, you know?” the actor continued. “There was something I was doing that night, you know? Not that that justifies my behavior at all. It was many things. It was a little boy who saw his father beating his mother, you know? All of that just exploded at that moment. That’s not who I want to be.”
Smith, who won an Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of Richard Williams in King Richard a few minutes after the incident, he also told the owner of the house, “I guess the thing that hurt me the most is, I took my power and made it difficult for other people.” When talking about what he learned in the following months, he also said, “I understood the point when they say that those who hurt people hurt people.”
Noah, who is leaving the show at the end of next week, gave his opinion on the controversy.
“I love Chris. I’m friends with him. I love you, but this is stupid. I know that as black people, black people get together and go, ‘What has Love been doing? What happened?’ Noah said. “A lot of Black people were saying, ‘He should go to jail.’ Anyway, you should rest.”
Smith also shared his next anecdote that night.
“My grandson is nine years old. He is a sweet little boy. We got home. He was late to see his uncle Will,” Smith recalled. “We’re sitting in my kitchen and he’s on my lap holding the Oscar and he’s like, ‘Put that man, Uncle Kuda. Damn it. Why are you trying to be Oprah for me?”
The two discussed Smith’s upcoming film, “Emancipation,” a film inspired by the story behind the 1893 “Peter Beaten” photo, including the infamous “beaten back” photo, which showed the back of a former slave named Gordon covered in scars from. lashes. In a previous video interview with Fox 5Smith said he’ll “really understand” if people aren’t ready to watch Emancipationbut he hopes that the “power of the film” will overcome the headlines that have followed him throughout the year.
Noah concluded the interview by saying the controversy “shouldn’t define” Smith’s legacy. “I don’t think any of us in life should be defined by our differences,” Noah told the actor.