Will Smith Hopes His New Movie Can Help Others As Much As It Helped Him

It was a "personal and beautiful journey" for him and his father.

In his new film Collateral Beauty, Will Smith plays a character who is struggling after a terrible loss. Smith himself recently lost his father, and this week he spoke to Ellen DeGeneres about what making the movie meant to him personally during a difficult time.

"I have this screenplay and I'm doing all of this research about a guy who experiences death at the time that my father was given six weeks," the actor recalled. Smith explained that his father lived four months longer than predicted, adding that "every day became so beautiful beyond the six weeks."

Smith's character in the film deals with his tragedy through interactions with the embodiments of Love, Time, and Death, and by exploring different religions. Smith revealed how preparing for the role helped him make the most of his time with his father.

"It was so beautiful to have the opportunity to share this and not hide from it. We were looking and we were talking and sharing everything," he said. "So this film for me is the most personal and beautiful journey, when life and art come together in that way, and when you create something that potentially can help people get through difficult times. It's fantastic. I hope you all see it, and I hope you love it, and anybody who needs it, I hope it really is able to do for you what it was able to do for my father and I."

Smith recently told People that the film was "a fantastic opportunity to grow as an actor while I was growing as a man."

Collateral Beauty opens nationwide December 16.

Hear Smith's full thoughts in the video below:

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