Will Smith: “They Gave Him Six Weeks, But He Lived Four Months”
Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, lost an honorable man, husband and father who raised one of Hollywood’s and music’s biggest stars.
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Mega actor Will Smith‘s father, Willard Carroll Smith, Sr., has died.
Recently, on a Facebook Live session about his current movie Collateral Beauty, Will Smith reveals that he was on set when he heard his father’s grim diagnosis.
“I got about two weeks into the preparation for the film, and my father was diagnosed with cancer. First, you know, it stunned me, and then it was the magical work of the universe,” Smith revealed. “I could not believe that this was the film I was working on, and I was forced to face my father’s mortality.”
“It was rough for about a week, and then I got it together. And I decided that we would use the process of the character, who was suffering a loss, and I would share my preparation with my father,” he explained.
Smith used the movie’s focus on love, time and death as talking points with his father, which he says led to “some of the most open and powerful conversations that we ever had.”
Will revealed on a episode of Ellen that his father kept a sense of humor up until the very end.
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“They gave him six weeks [to live] and he actually lived for four months,” Smith revealed. “So about three months into the six weeks, I go to see him one day, and he goes,’ Man, this crap is embarrassing.’ And I said, ‘What, dad?’ He said, ‘Man, you tell everyone you gonna be dead in six weeks, three months later you still hanging around.'”
It was the little things that the star said helped him learn to appreciate the smaller things and forget about the pressures of Hollywood.
“It was so magnificent to me… my father died on Nov. 7, but it was so powerful for me to be cleansed of the box office,” he said. “Like, I don’t need the box office to be huge on this film. I don’t need to win any awards, you know? I don’t care. It was the film that I worked on that I was actually able to comfortably and beautifully say goodbye to my father.”
Will’s ex-wife Sheree Fletcher, whom the actor was married to from 1992 to 1995, posted a tribute to her former father-in-law on Instagram.
“We’re gonna miss you Daddio! You lived & played by your own rules…you truly were 1 of a kind!,” Fletcher writes. “You instilled discipline, and a work ethic that has created a legacy in your honor!”
She included a photo (see below) of Will and his father alongside her son with the actor, Trey, now 23.
“Dad was tough but not tyrannical,” Smith reportedly once told Essence.