Will Smith has been out of the public eye since winning his first-ever Academy Award last March. 

Now banned from the Oscars ceremony and resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, With fans, Hollywood, and talking heads deliberating the significance and fallout of the incident that occurred between the actor and comedian Chris Rock just moments before his big win, an interview filmed sometime before Oscars Night is seemingly casting the infamous moment in a new light. 

While sitting with David Letterman on his talk show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, Smith revealed that he had a frightening vision of suddenly losing all that he had worked so hard to build. 

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 24: Will Smith speaks onstage during the 2022 15th Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards Luncheonat Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel on March 24, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for ESSENCE)

Smith revealed that, while a bit disillusioned with the empty success of making blockbuster hits, he took a 2-year acting break that found him in Peru, experimenting with the mind-expanding psychedelic ayahuasca. According to Insider, one such experience, which he describes as “the individual most hellish psychological experience of my life,” forced him to face his fear of losing his fortune, reputation, and success. 

“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 told Letterman. “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.’”

In the midst of all this chaos and fear, Smith described hearing his daughter’s voice, distressed and calling for him to help, off in the distance. Suddenly none of the material things mattered. 

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 27: (L-R) Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, Will Smith, Jaden Smith and Trey Smith attend the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 27, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Lionel Hahn/Getty Images)

“Then slowly, I stopped caring about my money, I just wanted to get to Willow. I stopped caring about my house, about my career.”

Smith told Letterman that the experience, while frightening, taught him a valuable lesson. 

“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.”

Smith’s full interview with Letterman is now streaming on Netflix.

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