Will Smith Personally Paid Extras That Were Playing Dead Bodies In Extreme Heat In New Film Emancipation

credit: UPI / Alamy
Will Smith has allegedly dipped into his own pocket during the filming of his new movie to pay extras who were playing dead bodies in extreme heat.

Smith, 54 - whose latest project Emancipation is based on a Black man who escapes slave traders in Baton Rouge, Louisiana - filmed the movie prior to him slapping Chris Rock across the face earlier this year.

That incident occurred after Rock, who was hosting the Oscars, made a joke about Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head. Smith then yelled: "Keep my wife's name out ya f***ing mouth," before storming onto the stage and smacking Rock across the face.

In the wake of the altercation, Smith publicly apologized and is banned from the awards ceremony for 10 years. Though, his newest movie is still able to be nominated.
In the wake of Smith's Oscars fiasco he was banned from the awards ceremony for 10 years. Credit: Sipa USA / Alamy
Antoine Fuqua, the director of Emancipation, told Vanity Fair about Smith's kindness towards the movie's extras, saying: "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."

The 56-year-old then commended Smith on his genuine warmth: "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."

Fuqua told the outlet that he hoped the fallout from Smith's Oscars slap wouldn't affect the movie's reception in any way, adding: "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 also mentioned that "really ugly things that have taken place" in Hollywood and that we have all seen "a lot of people get awards that have done some really nasty things."
Antoine Fuqua has called Smith the "nicest person I've ever met in my life." Credit: UPI / Alamy
Smith himself discussed the movie in the Vanity Fair piece, describing how he hoped audiences would view it. "This is a critical part of American history and I believe that acknowledging it and learning about it is central to the future betterment and elevation of our country, and even the world."

"At the end of the day, Emancipation is a beautiful piece of art that we hope will help bridge the gap between people. A story that will help all of us find and desire the greatest version of ourselves. This is a movie about freedom. It's about faith, endurance and love. A whole lot of things that the world needs more of right now," he added.

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