Will Smith’s Co-Star Was ‘Flattered’ He Said He Fell in Love With Her: ‘I Adored Him’
Will Smith once admitted that he committed to method acting so completely, he fell in love with his much older co-star while filming the movie. It turns out, she was very flattered by his confession, saying she “adored him” when they worked together.
Will Smith shared his ‘Six Degrees’ experience
Smith’s first big dramatic acting role was the 1993 film Six Degrees of Separation, adapted from the 1990 play of the same name. The role of con-artist Paul was a huge departure for Smith, who was best known as a rapper and star of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
During a 1993 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Smith admitted, “If you lined up a hundred films, this would be the last one that people would expect me to do. Six Degrees was the scariest choice that I’ve ever had to make in my career.”
Smith said he spoke with Denzel Washington before taking on the movie, turning to the experienced actor for advice. “He tried to hint to me, but I wasn’t experienced enough as an actor to understand, that when you really delve into a role, you may feel like you’re letting go, but you can’t leave it at the studio.”
“My big concern was for my rap career,” Smith added. “You don’t see too many rappers playing homosexual roles in films. The origins of the music are about masculinity, how tough you can be. So I was concerned about how my credibility would be affected.”
Will Smith said he fell in love with his ‘Six Degrees of Separation’ co-star
Smith tapped into his character so deeply for Six Degrees of Separation, he said he actually fell in love with Stockard Channing.
In a 2015 interview with Esquire, Smith shared that he discovered how “going too far” with his character had an unexpected outcome.
“With Six Degrees of Separation, I got a taste early of the dangers of going too far for a character,” he explained. “My character was in love with Stockard Channing’s character. And I actually fell in love with Stockard Channing.”
He continued, “So the movie was over and I went home, and I was dying to see Stockard. I was like, ‘Oh no! What have I done?’ That was my last experience with Method acting, where you’re reprogramming your mind.”
“You’re actually playing around with your psychology. You teach yourself to like things and to dislike things,” Smith explained. “It is a really dangerous place when you get good at it. But once I had that experience, I was like, No more Method acting. I was spending — for Six Degrees, I wanted to perform well so badly that I was spending six and seven and eight days in character before shooting, and you have to be careful with that.”
Stockard Channing was ‘flattered’ by Smith’s confession
Channing found Smith’s confession quite sweet, telling Page Six in 2015, “Well, I’m very flattered. That’s a wonderful thing … I adored him from the first time I laid eyes on him because I thought he was genuinely sweet.”
She added, “I felt very protective of him, because it was his first big job. It’s amazing for me to hear that he felt that way, I’m delighted.”