Will Smith shared his experience of being a cast in Collateral Beauty, a film about a father who is devastated by his young daughter’s death. Behind the scenes, Will was coping with the loss of his own father, who passed away after a short battle with cancer.
“You’re playing a guy that’s experienced a loss and your dad—you just lost your dad,” Ellen DeGeneres broached the topic with the actor on her daytime talk show Thursday.
“Yeah. What was really interesting is I got the screenplay right when my father was diagnosed. You know, so I have the screenplay and I’m doing all of this research about a guy who experiences death you know at the time my father was given six weeks,” Smith recalled
“But it turned out to be such an amazing thing to have to work through and go through all of this, so I’m studying, you know, all the things with the character who goes deeply into Christianity and Judaism, and Buddhism and everything about God trying to understand.
“My father and I were sharing it during that time so, you know, the performance for me, and the movie for me, and the ideas are so deeply personal,” he continued.
Watch his interview with Ellen.