In another stunning reveal from his upcoming memoir, Will Smith dishes on how he fell in love with his co-star while filming his first movie – and how he contemplated killing his own father.
In the past few days, the versatile entertainer has shared a lot about his journey in his upcoming book. The latest excerpt made public opens up about the situation that emerged as he starred in the 1993 film Six Degrees of Separation as Paul Poitier, a young Black man who endears himself to a wealthy white couple played by Donald Sutherland and Stockard Channing. His character in the film initiates an affair with Channing’s character, and as Smith writes, those feelings developed as the cameras shut down as he committed to remaining in character.
This impacted the marriage to his first wife, Sheree Zampino, heavily. “Sheree and I were in the first few months of our marriage with a brand-new baby and for Sheree, I can imagine that this experience was unsettling, to say the least,” he writes. “She’d married a guy named Will Smith and now she was living with a guy named Paul Poitier. And to make matters worse, during shooting I fell in love with Stockard Channing.”
The second excerpt speaks about his relationship with his late father, Willard Carroll Smith Sr., and how despite the elder being highly involved in his life, he still saw his violent side. “When I was nine years old, I watched my father punch my mother in the side of the head so hard that she collapsed. I saw her spit blood,” he writes.
His parents split when he was a teenager, but Smith never shook the feelings of rage. They would arise again in a dark manner as he cared for his father near the end of his life. “One night, as I delicately wheeled him from his bedroom toward the bathroom, a darkness arose within me. The path between the two rooms goes past the top of the stairs. As a child I’d always told myself that I would one day avenge my mother,” he writes. “I could shove him down, and easily get away with it. As the decades of pain, anger, and resentment coursed then receded, I shook my head and proceeded to wheel Daddio to the bathroom.”
Will will be available to the public on November 9.