Will Smith: Rihanna loved the camera on ‘Emancipation’

“The great thing about black people is that they’re talking to the screen all the time, so you don’t have to ask people’s opinions,” Smith said.

According to Will Smith, Rihanna was elevated through “emancipation.”

The Best Actor winner told E! News that the “Lift Me Up” singer “loved the cinematography” of the slave epic, directed by Antoine Fuqua.

“She couldn’t get over the look of the film and how it felt,” Smith said.

Rihanna attended a private screening of the feature film with partner A$AP Rocky, Tyler Perry, Dave Chappelle and other A-listers in October 2022.

“The great thing about black people is that they’re talking to the screen all the time, so you don’t have to ask people’s opinions,” Smith added. “So I didn’t have to ask anyone in the room for their opinion.”

Noting that Emancipation is now more relevant than ever, the King Richard star said, “I feel like a lot of the patterns are starting to be repeated in America and the world today. So in terms of timing, it felt like it was time for a reminder that we’re not walking some of the same paths.”

Emancipation stars Smith as Peter, a man escaping slavery who relies on his wits, unwavering faith and deep love for his family to find freedom from cold-blooded hunters and the unforgiving swamps of Louisiana . The film is inspired by the 1863 photographs of “Whipped Peter” taken during a Union Army medical examination and first published in Harper’s Weekly. A picture known as “The Scourged Back,” showing Peter’s bare back mutilated by a flogging, contributed to growing public opposition to slavery.

Emancipation producer Joey McFarland was recently criticized for collecting the original photos of Whipped Peter, along with other slave photos.

Director Fuqua addressed why the film shouldn’t be seen in light of Smith’s outburst against Oscar host Chris Rock earlier this year.

“The movie is bigger to me than this moment,” Fuqua told Vanity Fair. “400 years of slavery is bigger than a moment. I hope people see it that way and watch the film and get carried away by the amazing performance by Will and all the really hard work that the whole crew has put in.”

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https://www.indiewire.com/2022/12/will-smith-rihanna-loved-emancipation-1234787626/ Will Smith: Rihanna loved the camera on ‘Emancipation’

Lindsay Lowe

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