Will Smith

“My father was violent, but he was also at every game, play, and recital. He was an alcoholic, but he was sober at every premiere of every one of my movies. He listened to every record. He visited every studio. The same intense perfectionism that terrorized his family put food on the table every night of my life. So many of my friends grew up either not knowing their fathers or not having their fathers or not having their fathers around. But Daddio had my back and never abandoned his post, not even once. And while he would cultivate in me the tools to confront my own. 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. That moment in that bedroom, probably more than any other moment in my life, has defined who I am. Within everything that I have done since then, the awards and accolades, the spotlights and attention, the characters and the laughs. There has been a subtle string of apologies to my mother for my inaction that day. For failing her in the moment. For failing to stand up to my father. For being a coward. What you have come to understand as ‘Will Smith’, the alien-annihilating MC, the bigger-than-life movie star, is largely a construction. A carefully crafted and honed character designed to protect myself. To hide myself from the world. To hide the coward.” -People¬†

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