Will Smith - Going Up Against the NFL in "Concussion"

December 16, 2015 - Will Smith 12/16/2015 Views: 24,360

"Concussion" star Will Smith discusses his portrayal of Nigerian pathologist Bennet Omalu, whose discovery of a repeated head trauma disorder created conflict with the NFL. (5:03)

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>> Trevor: PLEASE WELCOME WILLSMITH.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Trevor: PLEASE.

>> OH, MAN!

OH!

>> WHAT IS UP, MAN!

>> Trevor: WOW.

WILL SMITH!

THIS IS OUR.

>> THIS IS OUR FIRST TIME.

>> Trevor: FIRST TIME.

>> I'M EXCITED TO BE HERE.

>> Trevor: ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

SO YOU GET EXCITED FOR ANYTHING?

>> NO LISTEN, LIKE YOUHAVE-- YOU KNOW, TAKEN OVER THIS

PLACE REALLY WELL AND I WASREALLY ROOTING FOR YOU.

>> Trevor: THANK YOU VERYMUCH.

>> AND I'M HAPPY TO BE HERE WITHYOU.

>> Trevor: THANK YOU.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

I HAVE TO SAY THIS, I MEAN YOULOOK YOUNGER THAN YOU LOOKED IN

THE MOVIE.

DID YOU GET OLDER FOR THIS ROLE?

>> YOU KNOW, NO I HAVE SOME AGEPEOPLE THAT TRAVEL WITH ME.

AND I WAKE UP AND I JUST PICK ANAGE AND THEY JUST, YOU KNOW,

THEY HOOK IT UP FOR ME.

BUT YEAH, NO, THERE WERE-- FORME TRYING TO MAKE A

TRANSFORMATION INTO A NIGERIANIMMIGRANT, YOU KNOW, SO THAT WAS

A LONG WAY FOR ME.

SO I MADE SOME ADJUSTMENTS.

>> Trevor: YOU MADE MY DREAMSCOME TRUE, I'M NOT GOING TO LIE.

I LOVE WILL SMITH, I LOVEAFRICA.

WILL SMITH AS AN AFRICAN.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

>> YEAH!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Trevor: WHERE DID YOU LEARNYOUR NIGERIAN ACCENT.

>> I WAS-- I WORKED WITH, ISTARTED W IT IS BASED ON A REAL

DOCTOR, TRUE STORY, SODR. BENNETT OMALU.

SO I WORKED FOR A LITTLE WHILEWITH HIM.

AND THEN I WORKED WITH A DIALECTCOACH.

I SAW A NIGERIAN COMEDIAN,SOMEBODY SENT ME.

AND HE WAS TALKING.

AND HE SAID WILL SMITH ISPLAYING A NIGERIAN.

AND SOME OF THE HATERS ARESAYING THAT HIS ACCENT IS NOT

AUTHENTIC.

BUT I SAY THAT IS NOT TRUE AM ISAY HE SOUNDS LIKE A NIGERIAN

WITH A CONCUSSION.

(LAUGHTER)

>> Trevor: SO, OKAY, FOR THOSETHAT DON'T KNOW.

CONCUSSION IS A BRILLIANT MOVIEBASED ON A TRUE STORY ABOUT

EMETT OMALU, A BRILLIANT,BRILLIANT PATHOLOGIST WHO IS

BASICALLY THE MAN BEHIND THEDISCOVERY THAT CONCUSSIONS WERE

LEADING TO BRAIN DAMAGE IN THENFL.

>> IN THE NFL.

SO THEY-- BASICALLY HEDISCOVERED THAT CTE, CHRONIC

TRAUMATIC ENCEPHALOPATHY ISBASICALLY-- IT'S A NEW DISEASE

THAT IS SPECIFIC TO THE REPETIVEHEAD TRAUMA.

>> Trevor: WHAT WAS CRAZY FORME WAS, IN THE STORY, I DIDN'T

REALIZE HOW MUCH PUSHBACK THEREWAS.

THE NFL WAS AGAINST HIM FOR ALONG TIME.

SOME PEOPLE IN THE MEDIA WEREWORKING WITH THAT.

IT WAS A TOUGH STORY ANDINTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, IN THE

MOVIE, THAT WAS A STORY.

AND OUTSIDE OF THE MOVIE THATBECAME THE STORY.

LIKE DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WEREGOING UP AGAINST SOMETHING

POWERFUL.

BECAUSE AS THEY SAID IN THISFIM, I THINK IT WAS ALEC BALDWIN

WHO SAID, THERE'S ONLY TWOTHINGS, THERE IS GOD AND THERE

IS FOOTBALL.

>> YEAH.

>> Trevor: GOD IS NUMBER ONE.

>> AND FOOTBALL IS NUMBER TWO,RIGHT, YEAH.

IT WAS-- IT WAS A VERY STRESSFULTIME FOR-- WELL, FOR ME AS AN

ACTOR.

BENNETT LIVED THROUGH IT, SO I'MNOT GOING TO PRETEND LIKE MY

STRESS WAS-- YES, IT WAS SOTOUGH TAKING ON THIS ROLE.

IT WAS SO TOUGH, AND YOU KNOW,TRYING TO ACHIEVE THIS, YOU

KNOW.

BUT IT WAS A VERY CURRENT STORY.

SO I PLAYED OTHER PEOPLE BEFOREBUT IN THIS, IT WAS IN THE

HEADLINES EVERY WEEK FOR THELAST YEAR.

SO WE WERE SHOOTING INPITTSBURGH.

SO FAMILY MEMBERS OF SOME OF THEPLAYERS, THE DICEASED PLAYERS

WERE ON THE SET.

SO IT WAS HEAVY IN THAT WAY.

BUT PEOPLE ARE RESPONDING TO ITWELL AND I FEEL LIKE WE'VE DONE

THE FAMILIES AND WE'VE DONE THETRUTH JUSTICE IN THIS FILM.

>> Trevor: IT WAS A BEAUTIFULMOVIE.

MY ONLY CRITIQUE WAS THAT IDIDN'T SEE YOU RUN, RUN, RUN,

I MEAN--

>> I WAS TRYING TO GET THEDIRECTOR TO MAKE ONE OF THE

PLAYERS BE AN ALIEN.

>> Trevor: THAT'S WHAT I LIKE.

I DIDN'T WANT TO MENTION IT.

>> YOU KNOW, IT SEEMED AWKWARD.

IT SEEMS AWKWARD.

>> Trevor: I'M GLAD WE IRONEDTHAT OUT.

>> THERE WAS NO MOMENT WHERE IGOT TO SAY OH, HELL NO!

>> Trevor: "CONCUSSION" WILLOPEN IN THEATERS EVERYWHERE ON

CHRISTMAS DAY -- WILL SMITH,EVERYBODY.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)