Will Smith is fired up.
The actor, who is starring in the new Netflix sci-fi movie Bright which begins streaming Friday, says Trump-inspired rage and the current #MeToo movement are signs that societally, things have to get dire before they get better.
“I have a brighter perspective of where we are right now,” Smith, 49, said at a recent press event in Beverly Hills promoting Bright. “This is the purge, right? This is the natural reaction to the amount of light that came into the world when Barack Obama was the president. We had to expect that it was going to go the other way.
“This is the darkness before the dawn. When that thing swings back to the other direction, humanity is going to evolve.”
His latest movie Bright is a fantasy-filled buddy cop movie that follows two police officers —one human (Smith) and the other a creature known as an Orc (Joel Edgerton) —as they attempt to save an elf (Lucy Fry) from villains who want her magic wand. Although the movie is action packed and mystical, it too presents a bleak world that is only made better when people of all races and species work together.
Smith, who is best known for his roles in Concussion, Ali and Focus, said although the flick ventures into social commentary with analogies on race and class, he is most inspired by the tide of change within our real world.
“The truth is right in front of us,” Smith said. “Nobody is allowed to ignore what’s true anymore. People actually get to look at it for themselves. Hiding is over. It’s going to be really interesting to see how humanity reacts to it. It’s the mess in the clean up. It’s the purge before the real light shows up.”
In recent years, Smith hasn’t been very vocal about different issues with his famous wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and his children speaking out on everything from racism to homophobia. But the international star is growing more and more emboldened because of his family, he said.
“When I see those kids, they actually inspire me,” Smith said, adding his thoughts on his 19-year-old son Jaden. “I don’t feel like Jada and I were teaching that, but of all the people I’ve ever met in my life, I’ve met very few who legitimately do not care what people think. I’m looking in his eyes and I’m like, ‘You have to care a little bit.'”
“But it is his unadulterated freedom that I’m actually jealous of,” the father of three said. “[Jaden] is so absolutely and thoroughly comfortable being him in a way that I was 20 years ago. But as you start to get successful, you get worked into a lane and your lane starts to feel comfortable.”
“It gets a little scary to come out when you’re not going to ring the bell the way people necessarily want it rung. I’m watching Jaden and I just love that freedom. And he’s inspiring me in a really unique and special way. As a parent, it makes me really proud.”
Bright premieres Friday Dec. 22 on Netflix.