Will Smith knows people are side-eyeing his Nigerian accent in Concussion, but he’s ok with it. HipHollywood sat down with 47-year-old actor to talk about the film and he told us he’s read the hilarious tweets, and even watched a Nigerian comedian’s video about his portrayal, and had a good laugh about it.
“Somebody sent me the link, and he said, Will Smith is doing a Nigerian accent in his film, and the haters will say his accent is not real, I say he sounds like a Nigerian with a concussion,” laughed the Philadelphia native.
But besides taking dialect training Smith also had to undergo a physical transformation to help him look more like Nigerian doctor Dr. Bennet Omalu. “I had a prosthetic that was glued to pull my ears back and that changes the shape of my face,” he explained. “And I had a small piece that changed the shape of the hairline. It was really subtle, but just little things like that.”
In the film, Dr. Omalu goes head to head (pun intended) with the NFL after discovering a connection between football and brain damage which became known as CTE. British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who plays his wife, told us she had to watch a lot of American football to prep for the role, but also looks at the sport differently after working on the film.
“Now that I watch football I watch it differently because I kind of know too much, to enjoy it int he same way,” she said. “But I think it’s about education and understanding the breathe of the game.”