Will Smith pondered murdering his father in “retaliation” for his mother’s death.
The 53-year-old actor revealed how his father, William Carol Smith Sr., was abusive against his mother, Caroline Bright, when he was a child, and acknowledged that his father “terrified” his family with his rigorous standards, promising to make him pay one day.
Will explained how a harrowing occurrence between his parents as a youngster “shaped” who he is now.
“My father was aggressive, but he was also at every game, play, and recital,” he writes in an excerpt from his biography ‘Will,’ published by People magazine. He was an alcoholic, yet he attended every premiere of my films sober.
“He sat down and listened to every single album.” He went to each and every studio. Every night of my life, the same rigorous perfectionism that terrorized his family provided bread on the table…
“I saw my father hit my mother on the side of the head so hard that she fell when I was nine years old.” I saw her spitting blood. That moment in that bedroom has probably defined who I am more than any other in my life.”
The ‘Men in Black’ actor said that the trauma affected his whole life and career and that he put on a mask to disguise his real nature.
“There has been a subtle thread of apologies to my mother for my inactivity that day in everything I have done since then — the prizes and honours, the spotlights and attention, the characters and the laughter,” he added. For letting her down in the heat of the moment. Because I didn’t stand up to my father. Because you’re a coward.
“Will Smith,” the alien-annihilating MC, the larger-than-life movie star, is mostly a creation — a carefully built and perfected role – meant to protect myself. To keep myself hidden from the rest of the world. To keep the coward hidden.”
Will had a decent connection with his father after his parents divorced when he was a teenager, but he confessed that his resentment from the childhood trauma returned years later when caring for his cancer-stricken parent, and he considered murdering him.
“A darkness came inside me one night as I gingerly rolled him from his bedroom toward the restroom,” he wrote. The corridor that connects the two rooms extends beyond the top of the stairs. I’d always promised myself as a youngster that I’d one day revenge my mother. I promised myself that when I was big enough, strong enough, and no longer a coward, I would kill him.
“I came to a halt at the top of the steps. I could easily push him down and get away with it. I shook my head and wheeled Daddio to the restroom as the decades of grief, wrath, and contempt coursed and then faded.”