He’s one of the biggest actors of the moment. But he hasn’t had an easy life at all

Will Smith’s life narrative is more nuanced than anyone ever realized.

In this week’s edition of PEOPLE, an exclusive chapter from the 53-year-old celebrity’s candid new memoir Will, released on November 9, is included.

In it, Smith exposes unpleasant family secrets, including one involving his late father, Will Sr., which he claims left him damaged for years.

The tumultuous relationship Smith had with his father, William Carroll Smith Sr., who, along with his mother Caroline Bright, reared Smith and his three siblings in Philadelphia, is described by Smith early on in the book.

“Although my father was aggressive, he also attended every game, play, and performance. He was an alcoholic, but he attended each and every one of my film premieres sober “He composes. “Every album was played for him. He went to each studio. My entire life, I have been fed by the same extreme perfectionism that tortured his family.”

Smith claims that a horrifying act of violence he saw his father do against his mother altered the course of his life.

“I was nine years old when I saw my father give my mother a strong hit to the side of the head, causing her to pass out. She spit blood, which I observed. Probably more than any other experience in my life, that one in that bedroom has shaped who I am.”

The trauma he experienced at that time would have an effect on the actor’s entire life and career.

He clarifies, “There has been a subtly repeated apology to my mother for my inaction that day in everything I have done since then, including the accolades, spotlights, characters, and laughter. for failing her at that precise time. for not challenging my father. due of its cowardice.”

He goes on, “What you have come to know as “Will Smith,” the movie star who destroys aliens, is primarily a creation – a carefully cultivated and refined persona – created to shield myself. to remain hidden from the public. a cover for the coward.”

Smith’s parents divorced in 2000 after divorcing while he was a teenager. The actor writes that, despite having a good relationship with his father, the resentment he felt following that episode as a child resurfaced years later as he took care of Will Sr., who was battling cancer.

“One night, a darkness developed within of me as I gingerly rolled him from his bedroom to the lavatory. The stairway’s summit is past where the passageway connects the two chambers.

I used to promise myself as a child that I would someday exact revenge on my mother. I promised to kill him when I was big enough, powerful enough, and no longer a coward.”

Smith remembers considering killing his father at that very time. “At the top of the stairs, I stopped. I could easily get away with pushing him down “He composes.

I shook my head and wheeled Daddio to the restroom as the decades of suffering, rage, and contempt surged and then subsided.

Smith commented on their tumultuous relationship and what it taught him about discovering true fulfillment when Will Sr. passed away in 2016.

Nothing that you can obtain from the material world will bring inner fulfillment or peace, he argues. In the end, it won’t matter a whit how much others loved you because you’ll only be rewarded with “the Smile” depending on how much you loved them.


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