ROME, ITALY - JANUARY 11: US actor Will Smith attends the 'Pursuit Of Happyness' photocall at the Hotel Excelsior on January 11, 2007 in Rome, Italy. (Photo Elisabetta Villa/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Will Smith Calls Emancipation His Toughest Film Shoot Ever
In Antoine Fuqua’s “Emancipation, Will Smith plays an escaped slave best known as 'Whipped Peter' who was forever memorialized by a photo of lashings on his back that left keloid scars. It became one of the most widely circulated photographs of slavery and it has inspired a film that's due to hit theaters 159 years after it was taken.
During a roundtable discussion with Entertainment Weekly, Smith explained "This was, without question, the hardest film I've ever shot. The swamp, the gators, and snakes, and spiders — and then we had a COVID shutdown. We had a hurricane. We had the heat index clipping up at 115 degrees. I mean, it was absolutely grueling."
For Smith, every obstacle they encountered got funneled into the final product, stating, "All of that adds to what you see on camera. It's like you can feel the difficulty of the shoot in the texture of the scenes. It was grueling, but I love it. I am as proud as I have ever been of a piece of art."