American actor Will Smith, talked about his career being "destroyed" way before the infamous Chris Rock slapping incident at the 2022 Academy Awards.
A few months before the viral slap, Smith revealed he had a premonition when under the influence of ayahuasca. This psychoactive herb drink is said to have a hallucinogenic effect. Letterman and Smith spoke candidly on the former's Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction - which was taped months before the slap.
Will Smith said:
"Once you drink it, you’re going to see yourself in a way you’ve never seen yourself. One of the experiences was the individual most hellish psychological experience of my life."
The 53-year-old actor claimed he had a vision that his home, money, and career would be taken from him over a two-year period in which he used the psychedelic substance roughly 15 times.
"I drank, and it usually takes about 45 minutes to kick in. And I’m sitting there, and you always feel like, 'Maybe it won’t kick in this time.' So I’m drinking and sitting there and then all of a sudden it’s like I start seeing all of my money flying away, and my house is flying away and my career is going away."
The Men in Black star went on to say that while on the psychedelic, he instantly began reaching for his money, which he imagined to be drifting away in thin air, and he recalled saying to himself that his "whole life is getting destroyed."
"This is my fear in real life, and I’m in there, and I’m wanting to vomit and all of that, and I hear a voice saying: 'This is what the f--- it is. This is what the f--- life is.'"
Finally, Smith claimed he came to sense when he heard his daughter, Willow Smith, asking for his assistance, and he understood that nothing can ever take away his genuine blessings – his family.
"Then slowly I stopped caring about my money. I just wanted to get to Willow. I stopped caring about my house. I stopped caring about my career."
Will Smith added that when he came out of it, he realized that he could handle anything that happens in his life.
"I can handle any person 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."
Will Smith's infamous Oscar slap revisited
On March 27, during the 94th Academy Awards, comedian Chris Rock took the stage to present the award for Best Documentary. While on stage, the comic joked about Will Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her shaved head.
Calling her G.I. Jane, Rock joked that he could not wait to see her. The character in question is from the 1997 drama film G.I. Jane, in which Demi Moore, the film's female lead, shaved her head for the role.
In response to this, Jada, who was sitting in the audience, rolled her eyes. Smith, on the other hand, went up to the stage and smacked Rock across his face on live telecast of the award ceremony.
Smith then returned to his seat and was overheard yelling:
“Keep my wife's name out of your f**king mouth.”
Chris Rock did not physically respond, but was clearly in sheer shock.
Will Smith was permitted to attend the ceremony, and he also won the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in King Richard.
Smith was barred from attending any Academy Award ceremonies for the next ten years after the on-stage attack on Chris Rock.
Although not face-to-face, but Will Smith has apologized to the comic via an Instagram post.