Will Smith told David Letterman on a recent episode of the former late night host’s Netflix interview series “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction” that he had a terrifying vision of losing his money and career before the Oscars slap sent his professional life spiraling. Netflix noted at the start of the conversation between the two men that “the episode was recorded prior to the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony,” where Smith slapped presenter Chris Rock on stage after Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s alopecia.
During a two-year acting break, Smith vacationed to Peru and went on 14 ayahuasca journeys. The actor said, “One of the experiences was the individual most hellish psychological experience of my life.”
“I’m drinking, I’m sitting there, and then, all of a sudden, it’s like I start seeing all of my money flying away and my house is flying away, and my career is gone,” Smith said of the vision (via Insider). “And I’m trying to grab for my money and my career. My whole life is getting destroyed…I’m in there and I’m wanting to vomit and all of that. And I hear a voice saying, ‘This is what the fuck it is. This is what the fuck life is. And I’m going, ‘Oh shit.'”
Smith said he then heard his daughter Willow calling out to him, “Daddy, help me! Daddy! How come you won’t help me?”
“And I’m like, ‘I don’t see you, baby,'” Smith said. “The shaman is like, ‘Relax, relax, relax.’ And she tells me, ‘Sit up.’ Then slowly, I stopped caring about my money, I just wanted to get to Willow. I stopped caring about my house, about my career. And I get to the point where I settled down and the voice is still at 100%, I still hear Willow screaming. My money is still flying away, but I’m going [exhales] and I’m totally calm even though there’s hell going on in my mind.”
Smith’s vision taught him that “anything that happens in my life, I can handle it. I can handle any person I lose, I can handle anything that goes wrong in my life, I can handle anything in my marriage, I can handle anything that this life has to offer me.”
In the aftermath of Smith slapping Rock at the Oscars, the Academy suspended the actor from its membership for 10 years. Several projects Smith had in development were dropped and/or delayed.