Before the infamous “Hitch”-slap there was the “Hitch”-splat.
Will Smith has revealed how he was left speechless after getting “spit on” by a co-star while filming “Emancipation” — months before the infamous slap heard around the world. The Oscar winner dropped the bombshell claim during a teaser for an upcoming appearance on Facebook Watch’s “Red Table Talk” with his kids, Trey, 30, Jaden, 24, and Willow, 22.
“It was emotionally, it was physically, it was spiritually taxing.” Smith, 54, described while discussing filming “Emancipation” in the clip. In the Anton Fuqua-directed drama, which is based on a true story, the “Fresh Prince Of Bel Air” actor portrays an escaped slave who finds asylum in Louisiana.
He claimed that the actors got so into character that at one point, one of his co-stars actually spit in his face while filming.
“One of the first days on set, there is a scene with one of the actors and he leans down in my face and says, ‘You a cold one, ain’t you?’ and then he ad-libbed…,” recounted the “Ali” actor, before pantomiming spitting on Willow. He then acted out his flabbergasted reaction to the wild unscripted moment as his kids collapsed into laughter.
Smith added, “I was like, “Makeup!” No, but it was like … I was like, whoa, every actor on this set was taking it really, really seriously.’”
Smith didn’t disclose the identity of his expectorating co-star. However the admission comes amid fallout for the now infamous incident at the 2022 Oscars in March, in which the actor smacked Chris Rock for making a bald wisecrack about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia.
As punishment for the assault, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences banned the Philadelphian from all Academy events for 10 years.
After months of remaining mum on the subject, Smith addressed the sordid saga during a November Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.”
“I was gone,” he told Noah. “That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time.”
The thespian claimed he was “going through something” and lost his cool that night.
“That was a horrific night as you can imagine,” he said. “There’s many nuances and complexities to it, you know, but at the end of the day, I just — I lost it and I guess what I would say [is] you just never know what somebody’s going through.”
Smith didn’t specify what issues he was facing, only disclosing that “it was a lot of things.” “It was the little boy that watched his father beat up his mother,” he said.” It’s, you know, all of that just bubbled up in in that moment. That’s not who I want to be.”
In fact, the “Men In Black” actor allegedly doesn’t fault those who don’t forgive him for his actions either.
In a prior interview with Fox 5, Smith said he “completely” understood if people were “not ready” to see “Emancipation” because they needed time to heal.
This story originally appeared on NY Post