“At 9 I saw my father hit my mother, I saw her spit blood”

On November 9, ‘Will’, the memoirs of actor Will Smith, arrives at bookstores. Far from the brilliance and glory of Hollywood, the story contains passages that show a childhood and a family life marked by the sexist violence of his father, William Carroll Smith, and also by the guilt of a child who was paralyzed after a traumatic experience.

“When I was nine years old, I saw my father punch my mother on the side of the head. A blow so hard that she collapsed. I saw her spit blood. That moment, in that bedroom, is the one that has probably defined the most. than anyone else who I am “, says the 53-year-old interpreter, in one of the excerpts published exclusively by ‘People’ magazine. Smith, along with writer Mark Manson, has taken two years to complete that story whose title is a play on words between the actor’s name and the word ‘testament’ in English (will).

In the fragments released this Thursday, it is told how the fact of being paralyzed by that experience, of not having acted at that time in defense of his mother, generated a feeling of guilt that has accompanied him throughout his career: “In everything What I’ve done since – the awards and accolades, the spotlights and the attention, the characters and the laughs – there has always been a subtle concatenation of apologies to my mother for my inaction that day. For having failed her at that time. not having confronted my father. For being a coward. ”

What is understood as ‘Will Smith’ is a carefully crafted and perfected character, a construction designed to protect me, to hide me from the world: to hide the coward

Actor Caroline Bright’s mother separated from her husband when Will and his three siblings were still teenagers. The divorce was finalized in 2000. Smith also reviews the last moments of his father’s life, who died of cancer in 2016 and with whom he never broke his relationship. He tells how it even crossed his mind to kill him then, in revenge for that aggression witnessed in childhood.

The temptation to kill the father

“One night, as I was carefully taking him from his room to the bathroom, a dark thought arose in me. The section between the two rooms passes by the staircase. As a child he had always told me that one day he would avenge my mother, that when If he was big and strong enough, when he was no longer a coward, I would kill him (…) I stopped at the top of the stairs. I could push my father away and easily get away with it. Decades of pain came to mind. , anger and resentment. I shook my head and took Dad in a wheelchair to the bathroom. ”

All these experiences have marked the career of the interpreter: “What is understood as ‘Will Smith’, the alien-annihilating rapper, the larger-than-life movie star is, to a large extent, a carefully crafted and perfected character, a construction designed to protect me, to hide me from the world: to hide the coward. ”

“Nothing that you can receive from the material world is going to bring you inner peace or fulfillment. In the end it will not matter one bit how well you have been loved. Only depending on how you have loved others will you achieve that smile ”, he concludes.