Will Smith is keeping his focus on family. The actor’s loved ones—including kids Trey Smith, Willow Smith and Jaden Smith, as well as Will’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith—were by his side at the premiere of his new movie Emancipation in Los Angeles on Nov. 30.
For the event, Will, 54, wore a light pink button-down shirt underneath a burgundy tuxedo while Jada, 51, rocked a white Stephane Rolland gown. As for their kids, Willow, 22, sported a black Stella McCartney ensemble with sparkly detailing and Jaden, 24, donned a suit covered in black and white photographs. Trey, Will’s 30-year-old son with ex-wife Sheree Zampino, coordinated with his dad in a coat, shirt and pants of a similar hue.
According to Apple TV+, Emancipation is about a man named Peter (Will), “who escapes from slavery, relying on his wits, unwavering faith and deep love for his family to evade cold-blooded hunters and the unforgiving swamps of Louisiana on his quest for freedom.” Peter joined the Union Army, and according to the streaming service the “film is inspired by the 1863 photos of ‘Whipped Peter,’ taken during a Union Army medical examination, that first appeared in Harper’s Weekly.” During a recent appearance on The Daily Show, Will recalled talking to Willow about taking on the role.
“My daughter asked me, she’s like, ‘Daddy, do we really need another slave movie?’ when I was thinking about it,'” he remembered. “I said, ‘Baby, I promised you I wouldn’t make a slave movie. This is a freedom movie.'”
Emancipation is the first film Will has starred in since his incident at the Oscars in March, where he slapped Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke about Jada’s shaved head (the Girls Trip star has publicly spoken about her alopecia diagnosis in the past). Will, who won the Academy Award for his performance in King Richard that night, later apologized to Chris and said his “behavior was unacceptable.” He went on to resign from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and is banned from its events for the next 10 years.
While speaking to Trevor Noah, Will expressed his hope that the incident won’t impact the film directed by Antoine Fuqua. “The thing that is so critical for me is that these people came and they trusted me and they were down for me,” he said, also giving a shout-out to cinematographer Robert Richardson and co-star Ben Foster, “and I hope that their work will be honored and their work will not be tainted based on a horrific decision on my part.”