Jason Merritt/Getty Will Smith
Will Smith is getting back into acting and into the spotlight.
The Los Angeles Lakers announced Wednesday that the 54-year-old actor, who has been keeping quiet following his Oscars controversy in March, visited the team as part of the Lakers’ Genius Talks. The event is an annual event where celebrities speak to the group to provide inspiration.
The Oscar winner was presented with the Lakers’ No. 14 jersey and was photographed with team owner Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka. According to the Lakers, the artist spoke about “strength through unity, and doing gratitude during the most difficult times.”
The team is currently in the midst of a losing season.
Smith’s message is said to have been inspired by “themes in his upcoming feature film, Liberation.”
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Also sharing a photo of the group, Smith wrote on Instagram: “I gave a preview of #Emancipation to the @lakers and we had a GREAT discussion about the Genius Series video… big to everyone who came!! Next stop… my @ six. “
Apple Original Films released the official trailer for the film earlier this month in which Smith plays a man who escapes from captivity and sets out on a quest for freedom.
At a screening of the film in early October, Smith explained the film’s theme and message.
“Throughout my career, I’ve turned down a lot of movies that were about slavery,” Smith said on the show, at. The The Hollywood Reporter. “I didn’t want to show us that. Then this picture came. And this is not a film about slavery. This is a film about freedom. This is a film about perseverance. This is a film about faith. This is a film about freedom. A film about the heart of man – what can be called the first insect picture. Cameras had just been invented, and the picture of Peter being whipped went around the world.
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It’s his first film since attending the 94th Academy Awards when he punched Chris Rock in front of the audience after the comedian made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
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While Smith won the Best Actor award that night for it King Richard After his success, he resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was eventually banned from Academy events for ten years after the incident.
Smith won the Best Actor award at this year’s BET Awards in June but did not attend.