Will Smith had an ayahuasca-induced vision of losing his career before the 2022 Oscars

He spoke to David Letterman all about it in an interview filmed before the now-infamous awards show incident.
May 24, 2022 2:10 p.m. EST
Getty Images Getty Images

Since the Will Smith-Chris Rock altercation at the Oscars back in March, the Bad Boys star has kept a relatively low profile. But in a new interview with late-night legend David Letterman, the King Richard Oscar-winner seems to have described predicting the fallout of that fateful night at the Academy Awards. "The Slap" saw Smith banned from the ceremony for 10 years and condemned by a large number of Hollywood heavyweights.

In the latest episode of Letterman’s Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction (which, is important to note, was filmed prior to the March ceremony), Will reveals that after drinking the psychoactive brew ayahuasca, he saw a vision of his career going up in smoke.

Calling the experience under the influence of the drink the “individual most hellish psychological experience of my life," Will explains his vision, saying, “I start seeing all of my money flying away, and my house is flying away, and my career is gone.”

 "I'm trying to grab for my money and my career and my whole life is getting destroyed." 

He continues, saying he heard a voice in his head instructing him that, “This is what the f**k it is. This is what the f**k life is."

He then explains that he saw a vision of his daughter, Willow Smith, crying for him, and he became more perturbed in that moment, prompting the shaman overseeing his experience to try and calm him down. That, he says, brought him to a major realization.

"I realize that anything that happens in my life, I can handle it,” he tells Dave. “I can handle any person that 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."

But perhaps one of the eeriest parts of this whole thing is not only how he seemed to predict his upcoming fall from grace, but also how he dismissed it at the time as simply a fear.

“First of all, ninety-nine percent of the s**t you worry about never happens,” he said. “Ninety-nine percent of your pain and misery is all self-generated. It’s not real.”

Will has seen a hit to his career since the Oscars altercation, for which he apologized. A source revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that production on Will’s Netflix film Fast and Loose ceased after the physical altercation. Another insider told the publication that production on Bad Boys 4 was also halted.

The revealing interview with Letterman also shed some light on why the Fresh Prince star might have snapped that night back in March, as he spoke openly about his tragic upbringing, his mother, and other family secrets.

Speaking about his autobiography Will, the Men In Black star told Letterman, "The first line of the first chapter is, 'I've always thought of myself as a coward.' When I was 9 years old, I saw my father beat up my mother, and I didn't do anything. And that just left a traumatic impression of myself as a coward.”

He went on to say, "You can't protect your family. Protection and safety is an illusion. You have to learn to live with the reality that any moment, anything can be gone in one second." 

That comment is in stark contrast to his tearful Oscars acceptance speech, where he said, in part, “I'm being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people. Now I know, to do what we do, you've got to be able to take abuse. You got to be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you've got to be able to have people disrespecting you, and you've got to smile and you've got to pretend like that's okay.”

He later added while holding his Oscar, "Love will make you do crazy things. And my mother... Being able to love and care for my mother, my family, my wife..."

On the topic of his mother, Caroline Bright, Will told David Letterman, "Don't say nothing about my mother, Dave." Later, when he demonstrated some of his Ali boxing skills, Dave joked, "Show me that, but don't hit me. Jesus, that was frightening.” 

You might also like