Will Smith: 'Death is a smell you never forget'
Will Smith found it excruciating to watch an autopsy.
Will Smith may have taken his job a little too far when he spent time in a morgue.
The actor is wowing critics once again with his latest portrayal, of real-life forensic neuropathologist Bennet Omalu, in new movie Concussion. The film recounts Bennet’s pioneering work studying the brains of deceased NFL stars. His findings led to a major shakeup when it came to players’ health, specifically the repeated blows they take to the head.
To fully immerse himself in the role, 47-year-old Will wanted to see for himself what it was like to work with the dead. “You can never un-smell that smell (of) death," Will sighed to USA Today. "You’re two feet away. And these horror movie memories start kicking in. It’s like, if this dude sits up, I am out of here.
"I may have taken my job a little too seriously,"
One particularly harrowing experience for Will came after a young girl was brought in, with a fresh bandage from a tattoo she’d recently had. "I can't lose that image,” the actor shared. “It was like, 'My God, she got a tattoo.' She had no idea she was going to be dead. It just shows the fragility of life. It really got me closer to comprehending Bennet and (what goes through) your mind doing this for a living."
For his part, Bennet wasn’t keen for Will to experience a real life autopsy, as he feared it would have a damaging effect. Will was insistent though, and reveals the experience actually had a different impact on him.
"There's reggae music playing,” he smiled. “He makes a joyous place for the transition of the soul from this world to the next.
"(But) watching him at work, it’s, um, excruciating. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen an autopsy, but it’s the complete dismantling of a human body. To the point that the scalp is taken off and the face is pulled down. And then he puts it back."
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