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The Film Strip: Will Smith: ‘Collateral Beauty’ Forever Changed Me

Will Smith, Naomi Harris, and Jacob Latimore at the Crosby Hotel in NY. (MMoore Photo)
Will Smith, Naomi Harris, and Jacob Latimore at the Crosby Hotel in NY. (MMoore Photo)

Collateral Beauty” cast members revealed recently at the Crosby Hotel what it meant to make the movie. Will Smith was moved most by the filmmaking experience.

“When I first read the screenplay, it spoke to that Christmas flavor that I remember while growing up like ‘It’s a Wonderful,’” he said. ”Those types of films are right on the edge of fantasy with that Christmas magic to it, yet dealing with things that are deeply and powerfully real and human.”

”While working on the film, my father was diagnosed with cancer and given six weeks to live. I could relate to all of the different religious based readings and was able to find an answer for how we recover from this kind of loss. This movie and these ideas have changed me forever. It’s the ultimate human difficulty. How do you deal with death and loss? It was the perfect life/art confluence. I am forever changed from working on “Collateral Beauty.”

Jacob Latimore plays time and also related to his character.

“My whole purpose in the film was to get Will to realize the importance of time. What are we doing with our time and how long are we spending in this moment. What am I doing with my time right now? How am I learning more? What we do on this bridge of time is so important,” Latimore emphasized.

READ RELATED STORY: THE AAFCA REPORT PRESENTED BY EURWEB: NAOMIE HARRIS ON WHY SHE COULDN’T RESIST ‘MOONLIGHT’

(L-R) Naomie Harris as Madeline and Will Smith as Howard in ma "COLLATERAL BEAUTY," .
(L-R) Naomie Harris as Madeline and Will Smith as Howard in “COLLATERAL BEAUTY.”

Naomie Harris plays a life coach and expressed how Smith and the film influenced her.

“I haven’t really suffered a death in my life,” she revealed. “I think that’s one of the things that attracted me to the piece because I think that death is such an important part of life. I think only when you come to terms with death can you really appreciate the fragility and the beauty of life.

“Will taught me that tragedy cracks you open in such a way that it is incredibly, unbelievably painful. But, it also means that life enters in … in a new, profound, beautiful way, which is healing and uplifting and life affirming in a way that I’ve never experienced. I can only imagine and I can only try and portray that.”

“Collateral Beauty,” directed by David Frankel also stars Helen Mirren, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, and Michael Pena. It opens December 16.

Syndicated Entertainment journalist Marie Moore reports on film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at [email protected]

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