Before the Oscars slap, Will Smith had a reverie of his career, home, and family sliding past him while stumbling on the psychoactive drink ayahuasca.
In an episode of Netflix’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction hosted by David Letterman, the actor disclosed his experience. The interview was taped before he slapped Chris Rock during the awards show in March.
Smith said he started to see a “subtle sickness” involving an addiction toward material success during I Am Legend’s release in 2007. So, the actor took time off work and didn’t talk for two weeks.
Smith continued that the experience taught him “to live with the reality that any moment, anything can be gone in one second.”
However, the Oscar-awardee remained seeking inward, saying to Letterman he made 14 “journeys” on ayahuasca in Peru in a two-year duration. Smith described it as “the individual most hellish psychological experience” of his life.
“I started seeing all of my money flying away, and my house is flying away, and my career is going away, and I’m trying to grab for my money, and my career and my whole life is getting destroyed. This is my fear, and I’m in there, but I’m wanting to vomit,” he recounted.
“I hear a voice saying, ‘This is what the f— it is, this is what the f— life is.’ And I’m going, ‘Oh, s—, and I hear Willow screaming, ‘Daddy, help me, daddy, how come you won’t help me?’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t see you, baby.’”
Smith further stated, “I stopped caring about my house, I stopped caring about my career, and I get to the point where I settled down, and the voice is still at 100 percent; I still hear Willow screaming, my money is still flying away, but I’m … totally calm, even though there’s hell going on in my mind.”
Through the encounter, the actor stated, “I realized 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. That’s part of the psychological training that happens in ayahuasca.”
The most important point for Smith was that “99 percent of the s— you worry about never happens. Ninety-nine percent of your pain and your misery is all self-generated; it’s not real.”
“I developed a trust and a love for me that I never had. I trust me to be okay, no matter what happens,” he added. Smith’s episode of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction is currently available on Netflix.