Nia Long Says Will Smith Had To Be A Standard Of “Perfection” For Many Years
Nia Long explains why she believes her former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star had to carry a “burden for many years” to be a standard of “perfection.”
In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment, the actress reflected on working with Smith when she played Lisa Wilkes, Smith's girlfriend, during the fifth season of the 90s sitcom and shed light on why she has come to that conclusion.
“He’s had an incredible career, and he’s carried a burden for many years to try to represent what perfection looks like or achievement looks like,” Long said, explaining that the burden could be due to the heightened success and fame of the actor. “And I don’t think that, at least when we were growing up, there was room to be human. And I think he’s now able to be human.”
She also took a moment to reminisce on the memories she has working with the Oscar-winning actor.
“I just remember that Will was this energetic, goofy, funny guy that was obsessed with playing golf and sneakers," she said. "And he was just the happiest person. He was like Disneyland. I love him and I will always love him.”
In 2022, Smith walked on stage at the Oscars and slapped Chris Rock across the face after the comedian joked about Smith's wife, actor Jada Pinkett Smith.
After the controversial incident, Smith resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was banned from all Academy events for 10 years.
While speaking with Yahoo, Long did not directly comment on Smith and the Oscar slap; she did say.
"We all have our moments in life where we need to reconcile things that we suppress," Long added. "And I think it's hard growing up in this business and being front and center every day, all day."