Nia Long Says Will Smith ‘Carried A Burden’ To Be Perfect In Hollywood: I Think He’s Now Able To Be Human
Nia Long is giving credit to Will Smith for how he handles himself in the spotlight.
“I will always love him. He’s had an incredible career, and he’s carried a burden for many years to try — to represent what perfection looks like. Or what achievement looks like.”
“I don’t think that — at least when we were growing up — there was room to be human. I think he’s now able to be human.”
As you may already know, last year Will Smith made headlines after he slapped comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars. The infamous scene took place on March 27 at the film ceremony, before Will Smith’s win for Best Actor. The shocking incident occurred on live television over a joke Chris Rock made about Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. The debacle resulted in Will Smith’s resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a ban from attending Academy events for 10 years.
While Nia Long did not mention the Oscars slap, she reflected on the difficulties of growing up in the spotlight and the pressure someone in that position may face. She said,
“We all have our moments in life where we need to reconcile things that we suppress. And I think — it’s hard growing up in this business and being front and center every day, all day.”
“Think about it — I can go to the grocery store anytime I want to, and for the most part, people are like ‘Hey, Nia Long.’ No one’s chasing me down the street. I still have my anonymity, and I appreciate that about my career.”
During the interview, Long also got emotional discussing the difficulties she’s faced in recent months. She revealed,
“I’ve had some pretty devastating moments in my life over the last couple of months, and I’ve had to just say ‘It’s alright. You’ll pick yourself back up’ — oh, my God I’m about to cry.. You pick yourself back up, and you keep it moving.”
As previously reported, Nia Long and Ime Udoka called it quits after 13 years together. Their breakup followed surprising news of the former Boston Celtics coach cheating on Long with one of his staff members. The affair initially made headlines in September. As part of his disciplinary actions, just weeks before the start of the 2022-23 NBA season, Udoka was suspended from his coaching duties. It has since been reported that the woman he cheated with served as a team liaison arranging travel, lodging, and game tickets for Celtics family members and is likely to have arranged travel for Udoka’s ex-fiancée, Long.
Sending #NiaLong an abundance of love and healing. ?? The actress began to choke up while briefly touching on devastating moments she's experienced over the past couple of months.(?: Twitter djkevlar) pic.twitter.com/GkJXgBKCuM
— theJasmineBRAND (@thejasminebrand) January 24, 2023
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