Will Smith revisited his Oscar night in his first TV interview since slapping Chris Rock in March.
Smith said he “lost it” over Rock’s remark about his wife’s hair on Monday’s Daily Show.
“That was bottled-up wrath,” he claimed, adding that his feelings didn’t justify his actions.
“You never know what someone’s going through. That night, I was struggling. It’s like “Hurt people hurt people,” you know?”
In the past eight months, Smith’s hardest problem has been forgiving himself “for being human.”
“I had to humble down and recognise I’m an imperfect human and still have a chance to contribute,” he said.
Noah spoke nearly as much as Smith throughout the 20-minute chat, offering absolution and affection.
Noah: “You’ve spent more time in the spotlight than out of it.”
“I don’t want that to define you, as do many others. Not defining. No one should be defined by one mistake.”
Smith promoted his new picture Emancipation, in which he plays a fugitive slave.
Antoine Fuqua has supported Apple’s choice to release Emancipation in December, despite the Smith slap.
Smith said he’d understand if audiences boycotted the film over his behaviour.
“I would respect that,” Smith told Good Day DC’s Kevin McCarthy.
“My team is my priority. This crew has done some of its greatest work, and I hope my actions don’t hurt them. I’m striving toward that.”
He said he didn’t want to “taint” the film’s reaction on The Daily Show.
Smith described how his 9-year-old nephew responded after seeing the smack on TV to illustrate how he disappointed others.
“Uncle Will kept him up late. He’s on my lap with the Oscar in my kitchen. Why did Uncle Will beat the man?” Smith wiped tears.
He joked to Noah, “Why are you Oprahing me?” “It was chaotic. I don’t want to provide more to misunderstand.”
Smith’s cheerfulness helped him win followers. Last year, he told NPR’s Fresh Air that he created that image to conceal up past trauma, including watching his father beat his mother when he was 9.
Smith’s participation on the Comedy Central show was one of his first public appearances since the Oscars on March 27.
Noah called it one of Smith’s best and worst evenings, let alone career.
The actor earned his first Oscar for King Richard, but the infamous smack overshadowed his accomplishment.
The Academy banned Smith for 10 years after he resigned.
Smith apologised to Rock in July, but Rock wasn’t ready to discuss the issue.
He’s since joked about it in stand-up.
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