Will Smith on 'Concussion': "I Think as Actors, We Have Ultimate Power" - Actor Oscar Roundtable
"I think story combined with imagery moves humanity forward. So I think that what we do is the ultimate forum for changing people's hearts and minds."
"I didn't have any contact with the NFL, because [Concussion's] director Peter Landesman was an investigative reporter, he was bulletproof. He had worked the story and done the research," Will Smith tells The Hollywood Reporter about the authenticity of making Concussion. "Many of the scenes in the movie we did from transcripts. It was not easy, but we felt comfortable in saying and doing the things we were saying and doing."
"I want to give Sony their props also, because we used real footage. We used the NFL logo, all of that. And it came down to Sony saying, 'just use it. They'll have to sue us.'"
"I wanted to make the greatest love story that African Americans had ever seen from American cinema," Will Smith explains why he turned down the role of Django in Tarantino's Django Unchained. "The only way I felt I could make that movie, was that it had to be a love story, not a vengeance story. Violence begets violence. I just couldn't connect to violence being the answer. Love had to be the answer."
Smith discusses his experience with prejudice and racism during his career in Hollywood, beginning first to make an important distinction between the two. He says, "everybody's prejudice. Every body has their life experiences that make them prefer one thing over another. But the idea of racism -- there's a connotation in racism of superiority, that you feel that your race generally, just based on your race, is superior."
While has certainly encountered both, he says, "I have to say, I live with constant prejudice, but racism is actually rare."
The full Actor Roundtable will air on Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday, Jan. 17, at 11 a.m. ET on Sundance TV.
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