‘I lost it’: Will Smith recalls Oscars slap in emotional ‘Daily Show’ interview

Will Smith said he “just lost it” when he slapped comedian Chris Rock on Oscars night in his first late-night interview since the infamous slap earlier this year.

“I was gone,” Smith said on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.”

“That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time,” Smith said.

The actor told Noah 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 identify what troubles he was dealing with during the awards ceremony — but said a lot of things he had been feeling came to a head all at once.

Will Smith is spotted on the The Daily Show with Trevor Noah on Nov. 28, 2022.
Will Smith is spotted on the The Daily Show with Trevor Noah on Nov. 28, 2022.
The Daily Show

None of it justified his actions, Smith said.

“It was a lot of things. It was the little boy that watched his father beat up his mother. It’s, you know, all of that just bubbled up in in that moment,” he said. “That’s not who I want to be.”

Noah offered his own perspective, defending Smith who he has known for many years.

“I also think that’s not who you are,” he said. “I think it’s not who you are. I think everybody can make a mistake.”

Will Smith slaps Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Calif., on March 27, 2022.
Will Smith slaps Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Calif., on March 27, 2022.
AFP via Getty Images

The “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star smacked Rock in the face after he made a joke about Smith’s wife while presenting an award on stage.

He also addressed how he has largely stayed out of the spotlight since the slap heard around the world, joking “I’ve been away, what y’all been doing?” with a laugh.

Smith, who joined the late-night show to promote his new film “Emancipation,” had tears stream down his face at points of the interview, including when he shared a heartfelt story about how his night ended after the awards ceremony.

Smith said he saw his 9-year-old nephew after returning home from the Oscars.

“He is the sweetest little boy. We came home and he had stayed up late to see his uncle Will and we’re sitting in my kitchen and he’s on my lap and he’s holding the Oscar and he’s just like ‘Why did you hit that man, Uncle Will?’,” Smith said, tearing up.

Will Smith said he also addressed how he has stayed out of the spotlight since the slap heard around the world.
Will Smith said he also addressed how he has stayed out of the spotlight since the slap heard around the world.
The Daily Show

He jokingly asked Noah “why you trying to Oprah me?” as he sniffled.

Smith added he understands how people were shocked by his violent outburst.

He said he is now learning to heal and forgive himself.

“That was one of the big things for me over this last couple of months — you know, that I had to forgive myself for being human,” Smith said.

The star has been banned from attending the Academy Awards for the next decade. 




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