- Will Smith told David Letterman about the “most hellish psychological experience” of his life.
- While in Peru, he drank ayahuasca and had a vision that he lost his money, house, and career.
- Smith said the experience made him realize that “anything that happens in my life, I can handle it.”
Will Smith opened up about his fear of losing his money and his career in an interview with David Letterman that was recorded prior to the controversial 2022 Oscars.
The “King Richard” star spoke about his life and career in an episode of “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman” as part of season four of the Netflix series, released on Friday.
The episode was prefaced with a title card that read, “The episode was recorded prior to the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony.”
During his interview, Smith spoke about being at the top of his career, thanks to a string of successful films, but still feeling unsatisfied.
“I felt very confident that No. 1 movies were much more of an addiction than they were a fulfilling emotional endeavor,” he said. “I correlated being the best with being able to have the love in my life that would make me feel safe.”
Because of this, Smith said that he stopped working for two years.
During that time, he went to Peru and drank ayahuasca, a mind-altering medicine. Smith said that he went on “14 journeys” after consuming ayahuasca and one specific incident forced him to confront his fear of losing everything.
“One of the experiences was the individual most hellish psychological experience of my life,” he said.
“I’m drinking, I’m sitting there, and then, all of a sudden, it’s like I start seeing all of my money flying away and my house is flying away, and my career is gone,” Smith recalled of the vision . “And I’m trying to grab for my money and my career. My whole life is getting destroyed.”
“So this is your fear in real life?” Letterman asked.
“My fear,” Smith confirmed. “I’m in there and I’m wanting to vomit and all of that. And I hear a voice saying, ‘This is what the fuck it is. This is what the fuck life is. And I’m going, ‘Oh shit.'”
The actor said that he began to hear his daughter, Willow Smith, screaming, “Daddy, help me! Daddy! How come you won’t help me?”
“And I’m like, ‘I don’t see you, baby,'” Smith said. “The shaman is like, ‘Relax, relax, relax.’ And she tells me, ‘Sit up.’ Then slowly, I stopped caring about my money, I just wanted to get to Willow. I stopped caring about my house, about my career.”
He continued: “And I get to the point where I settled down and the voice is still at 100%, I still hear Willow screaming. My money is still flying away, but I’m going [exhales] and I’m totally calm even though there’s hell going on in my mind.”
Smith said that the psychological journey made him realize that “anything that happens in my life, I can handle it.”
“I can handle any person I lose, I can handle anything that goes wrong in my life, I can handle anything in my marriage, I can handle anything that this life has to offer me,” he said.
“That’s part of the psychological training that happens in ayahuasca. First of all, 99% of the shit you worry about never happens,” he continued, “99% of your pain and your misery are all self-generated. It’s not real. “
Smith’s comments to Letterman were made before the Academy Awards.
At the ceremony, the actor went on stage and slapped presenter Chris Rock after the comedian made a distasteful joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head.
In the aftermath of the attack, The Academy launched a formal review over Smith slapping Rock.
On April 1, Smith resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. A week later, the Academy announced that Smith will be banned from the Oscars for 10 years for slapping Rock on air.
In an open letter sent to Insider, the Academy said that Smith will be barred from attending “any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards.”
Since then, several of Smith’s projects have reportedly been put on hold, though it’s unclear if they were paused due to his actions at the Oscars or because of timing and other factors.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, director David Leitch stepped away from
‘s upcoming movie “Fast and Loose,” starring Smith, in order to helm Universal’s “Fall Guy,” starring Ryan Gosling.
THR also reported that the development of “Bad Boys 4” had been paused and Smith’s upcoming Apple TV+ drama “Emancipation,” which was expected to release in 2022, hasn’t been given a date.
According to Bloomberg, National Geographic is delaying production of a nature series starring Smith called “Pole to Pole,” in which the actor would visit the North and South Poles.