Jason Merritt/Getty Will Smith
Will Smith is returning to acting and the public eye.
The Los Angeles Lakers announced Wednesday that the actor, 54, who has been keeping quiet since his Oscars controversy in March, visited the team as part of the Lakers’ Genius Talks. The event is an annual conference where celebrities speak to the group to provide inspiration.
The Oscar winner was donned a No. 14 Lakers jersey and was pictured with the team and team owner Jeanie Buss, and general manager Rob Pelinka. According to the Lakers, the player spoke about “strength through unity, and practicing respect in times of great adversity.”
The team is currently in the midst of a losing streak.
Smith’s speech was said to be inspired by “the themes in his upcoming film. Released.”
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Also sharing a group photo, Smith wrote on Instagram: “Given a sneak peek of #Emancipation to the @lakers and had a GREAT convo about the photo for their Genius Series… thanks guys all came!! six.”
Apple Original Films released the trailer for the film earlier this month in which Smith plays a man who escapes slavery and embarks on a quest for freedom.
At a film screening held in early October, Smith explained the film’s theme and message.
“Throughout my career, I’ve turned down a lot of movies based on slavery,” Smith said in a statement. of the Hollywood Reporter. “I didn’t want to show us like that. And then this movie came along. And this is not a movie about slavery. This is a movie about freedom. This is a movie about the stability. film about the human heart – what can be called the first viral film. The cameras were made, and the image of Peter who was beaten went around the world.”
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It’s his first film since his performance at the 94th Academy Awards where Chris Rock hit back in front of the crowd after making a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.
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Although Smith won the award for Best Actor that night for his King Richard action, he resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was banned from attending Academy events for ten years after the incident.
Smith won the award for Best Actor at this year’s BET Awards in June but did not attend the event.