Will Smith avoided acting in romantic comedies after falling in love with Stockard Channing in “Six Degrees of Separation”

As most know, Six DEGREES OF SEPARATION was a very important film for Will Smith. It wasn’t only one of Smith’s first films, but he also truly fell in love with his co-star Stockard Channing while filming. But the love he had for Channing affected him so much that he avoided acting in romantic comedies for years in part because of it.

How Will Smith fell in love with Stockard Channing

Will Smith | Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Smith has been very open about falling in love with his Six DEGREES OF SEPARATION co-starring. Much of his new feelings at the time, the actor attributes to a case of method gone awry. In an interview with Esquire, Smith recalled how he ended up being so enamored.

“Six Degrees of separation, I got a taste of the dangers of going too far for a character. My character was in love with the character of Stockard Channing. And actually, I fell in love with Stockard Channing, ”Smith explained.

The connection had grown so deep that she followed the lagging actor.

“So the movie was over and I came home, and I was dying to see Stockard. I was like ‘Oh no! What have I done?’ Smith wondered.

But the incident taught Smith a valuable lesson about himself and the dangers of methodical action.

“It was my last experience with the acting method, where you reprogram your mind. In fact, you are playing with your psychology. You teach yourself to like things and not to like things. It’s a really dangerous place when you’re good at it. But once I had that experience, I was like, No more Method acting, ”he said.

It was a decision that would later play a role in avoiding romantic comedies.

How falling in love with Stockard Channing kept Will Smith from making romcoms

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Will Smith first stepped into the rom-com genre in the 2005 hit film Coupling. With Smith’s natural charm and positivity, many viewed a romantic comedy as the perfect choice for the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum. But Smith explained in an interview with Blackfilm why he had avoided the genre for so many years before. Coupling.

“I had a bit of a mental block against onscreen romance,” Smith explained. “I just couldn’t be comfortable. You know, you make a scene and you kiss, kiss, kiss, and then they say “cut”, and you can’t just tear off when they say “cut”, you know? Because you really have to let your mind go to that space where “I’m in love with this person”.

Smith again cited his one-sided romance with Channing, describing how hard it was to forget her. It made Smith feel like he wasn’t an actor good enough to draw the line between onscreen romance and reality.

Six DEGREES OF SEPARATION, he’s probably the most lost character I’ve ever been, ”Smith revealed. “I just lost my head in love with Stockard Channing, and I was like ‘man you gotta get yourself together’ and I couldn’t shake the character and I was like ‘wow’. I think part of that , I never really intellectualized it back then, but I think part of it was that I felt comfortable not having developed my skills as an actor enough to draw the line. correctly.

Will Smith’s method of action led to problems in his marriage

In his memories, Will be, Smith went into a little more detail on how his method of action interfered with his personal life. Mainly, this started to influence his marriage to his first wife Sheree Zampino.

“Sheree and I were in the first months of our marriage with a brand new baby, and for Sheree, I can imagine that this experience was unsettling to say the least,” Smith wrote according to Yahoo. “She had married a guy named Will Smith and now she was living with a guy named [his Six Degrees of Separation character] Paul Poitier.

The problem persisted when even after the film ended, Smith was still thinking of his co-star.

“After the movie was over, Sheree, Trey and I went back to LA. Our marriage began with difficulty. I found myself desperate to see and talk to Stockard, ”he said.

RELATED: How Will Smith Saved Bruce Willis’ Life After Divorce From Demi Moore


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