Will Smith received praises for his performance in “Concussion.” He even won the Best Actor Award at the African-American Film Critics Association Awards for his portrayal of Dr. Bennet Omalu. He was also nominated for a Golden Globe.
Despite all the accolades, however, Smith is a bit disappointed with how the movie was received by the audiences. Speaking to Vanity Fair, the actor said he expected the film to have “a bigger impact.” Smith added that he thought people will start discussions about the hazards of football after seeing the film, but he was “surprised” that it did not move people to act the way he expected they would.
“I thought that people would get behind the mission of that,” Smith said. “I was surprised that people were absolutely like, ‘Nope, I’m not stopping watching football, so I don’t want to know.’”
Smith also shared how he saw former C.I.A. director David Petraeus, who said that he did not want to watch the film but was asked by his wife to do so. The actor also joked about people being OK with him choking a dog but not wanting to “choke football.” The dog he was referring to was the zombie dog his character in “I Am Legend” put his pet dog, who became a zombie, to death.
Smith said his views on football changed dramatically when he did “Concussion.” “I’m a football dad,” the actor admitted, according to The Guardian. “So when I got the screenplay, I was concerned. Omalu just wanted to tell the truth and what we do is deliver the truth.”
Smith also told Philly that he was shocked to learn that the trauma a person could get by playing the game can lead to serious brain damage in the long run, especially since his child plays football once in awhile.
“You can make any decision that you want,” the actor said, “but for me, as a parent, I was compelled to deliver this film to the world.”
“Concussion” was directed by Peter Landesman.