Will Smith gave his first late night interview since that infamous night in March when he stormed on to the stage and slapped comedian Chris Rock during the Oscars, after the latter cracked a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett’s hair loss.
Speaking to “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah, the interview was done as part of the 54-year-old actor’s promotional run for his latest film, “Emancipation”, which opens in theatres on December 2 and will stream on Apple TV+ from December 9.
Before he went on to discuss his Oscar night fiasco, Smith explained how he’d flown 30 hours from Bhutan, where he filmed a Nat Geo show, to be with Noah.
Next he will be travelling to the south pole and then the north pole for a show called “Pole to Pole”.
He also lauded the rest of the cast and crew for their incredible work on the film.
When it came to the subject of his actions at the Oscars, Smith said: “That was a horrific night, as you can imagine. There’s many nuances and complexities to it. But at the end of the day, I just — I lost it, you know?… I was gone, dude. That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time.”
He added that after the Oscars, he came home and had to explain the incident to his nine-year-old nephew.
“He’s the sweetest little boy,” Smith said. “He stayed up late to see his Uncle Will. We are sitting in the kitchen, he’s on my lap holding the Oscar.” Then his nephew asked, ‘Why did you hit that man, Uncle Will?’”
Noah constantly tried to comfort an emotional Smith as he tried to explain his emotions and his deep regret.
“I think that’s not who you are,” said Noah. “I think everybody can make a mistake.”
He went on to express his disappointment at how the media had portrayed Smith after the incident.
At one point during the interview, Smith explained that “you just never know what somebody is going through. I was going through something that night. That doesn’t justify my behaviour at all… We just gotta be nice to each other, man.”