Will Smith personally paid extras that were playing dead bodies in extreme heat in new film Emancipation – as director Antoine Fuqua defends casting him after Oscars slap
Will Smith personally paid extras in his new film Emancipation that were playing dead bodies lying on the ground in extreme heat.
The film’s director Antoine Fuqua, 56, made the revelations in a new interview where he told how Will, 54, ‘was kind to everyone’ and was the ‘nicest person he’s ever met’.
It comes after Antoine defended his decision to release the film – which follows a man who escapes slavery, after lead star Will’s controversial behavior at the Oscars this year.
Kind: Will Smith personally paid extras in his new film Emancipation that were playing dead bodies lying on the ground in extreme heat
Speaking about how he paid extras Antione told Vanity Fair: ‘He was kind to everyone on the set. Will would go around and hug and shake hands – we had 300-something extras and military. Marines.
‘He’s funny. He’s fun. We had certain extras that were the dead bodies in the graves, and he would go give them money for laying there in that heat over 100 degrees.
‘I have nothing but amazing things to say about Will Smith, really genuinely. You can ask anybody that worked on the movie, they’ll tell you the same. Nicest person I’ve ever met in my life.’
Having his say: The film’s director Antoine Fuqua, 56, (pictured) made the revelations in a new interview where he told how Will, 54, ‘was kind to everyone’ and was the ‘nicest person he’s ever met’
The movie was filmed prior to Will slapping comedian Chris Rock, 57, across the face at the Oscars.
And Antoine has now said that him starring in the film is ‘more important than one bad moment’.
The filmmaker also shared that there was never a conversation ‘about the movie not coming out’ and called Smith the ‘nicest person I’ve ever met.’
Important: It comes after Antoine defended his decision to release the film – which follows a man who escapes slavery, after lead star Will ‘s controversial behavior at the Oscars this year
‘Of course I wanted people to see the film. My conversation was always, ‘Isn’t 400 years of slavery, of brutality, more important than one bad moment?’
He added that in Hollywood there have been some ‘really ugly things that have taken place’ and that we have seen ‘a lot of people get awards that have done some really nasty things’.
During the 2022 Academy Awards, Smith bolted onstage and slapped Rock in the face, following a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s, 50, shaved head, yelling ‘Keep my wife’s name out your f*****g mouth!’
Following the incident the release date for the film was unknown, but last month Apple TV+ announced that it would hit theaters on December 2, and be available for streaming on December 9.
Shocking: Fuqua – who filmed the movie prior to the 2022 Academy Awards, where Smith, 54, bolted onstage and slapped Chris Rock, 57 – also called the actor the ‘nicest person I’ve ever met’
The film would also be qualified for the awards season, and despite the fact that Smith is banned from attending Academy events for the next 10 years, he is eligible to be nominated.
Fuqua shared that after the studio and filmmakers talked about the situation, they decided that the film did not need to be postponed.
The Training Day director also revealed that the moment Smith hit Rock ‘didn’t feel real to me at all’ because he hadn’t ‘met a nicer human being’, adding that Smith was ‘kind to everyone on the set’ of Emancipation.
Fuqua also stressed how the role was mentally and physically difficult on Smith given the slavery content.
Difficult: The movie stars Smith as a man named Peter, who bolts from slave hunters on his way out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Smith refused to discuss the Oscars fiasco with Vanity Fair but, shared that his character helped him ‘cultivate a higher capacity for empathy.’
The actor has also shown the film to his famous friends – including Dave Chappelle, Tyler Perry, Rihanna and A$AP Rocky – in a private screening in October.
Will risks everything for his freedom as he pushes through unthinkable terrors in an attempt to reunite with his family in a trailer for his new film, Emancipation.
The movie stars Smith as a man named Peter, who bolts from slave hunters on his way out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The preview begins with Smith’s character being separated from his loved ones, before attempting to flee to meet up with the Union Army amid the the Civil War.
As he is forced to go through a swamp to secure his freedom, Smith is warned that there ‘are many ways to die in a swamp.’
‘I fight them. They beat me. They whip me. They break the bones in my bofy more times I can count, but they never break me.’ Smith says.
Famous friends: The actor already showed the film to his famous friends – including Dave Chappelle, Tyler Perry, Rihanna and A$AP Rocky – in a private screening in October. Apple TV+ announced that the movie will hit theaters on December 2
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