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We all know Will Smith is the master of running and crying on screen – think Bad Boys and The Pursuit of Happyness. But with his latest performance in Collateral Beauty, the veteran actor is bringing a new dimension of emotion that many have never seen.

In the film, Smith plays the owner of an ad agency struggling to come to grips with the tragic loss of his daughter. According to the 48-year-old, the role became extremely personal three weeks into filming when his father was diagnosed with cancer.

“Having to face my father’s mortality and impending death while I was preparing for this role gave us a really wonderful interaction during that time,” Smith told USA Today. “We were able to have conversations that I never would have been mature enough or open enough to have, and we confronted death head-on.”

Smith’s father, Willard Smith Sr., would pass in November, but his co-star, Edward Norton, and Collateral Beauty director, David Frankel, applauded his ability to deliver such emotional material.

“To make sure you know how to balance the resources of your emotions in such a way, he did a beautiful job,” said Norton, who plays his best friend Wit in the film.

“He came really prepared. I can’t take any credit for his performance,” added Frankel.  “He has this remarkable depth and he wanted to go there, he’s a risk taker. He wanted to see how far he could push it and I think it’s the best performance of his career.”

Collateral Beauty, which also stars Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet and Micheal Pena, hits theaters December 16.

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EXCLUSIVES

‘Annihilation’s’ Leading Ladies Use Intense Military Training As Bonding Experience

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Annihilation is one hell of a visually stunning sci-fi film with five female leads on an expedition to uncover the mysterious phenomenon that is expanding across the American coastline.

For Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson and Gina Rodriguez, the film, which also lends a voice to what is being called the year of the woman, dressing in head to toe military gear and going through tactical training was a bonding experience.

“”t was really fun. It’s weird to say that. But to have all these women in military training together, where we had to do these exercises … it was a great bonding experience with each other.” Portman told us.

And although the women had the opportunity to use real guns, firearms is not something the ladies of Hollywood advocate. “I’m anti gun to be honest,” Rodriguez said. “I say no guns. There’s no reason for people to have guns especially when you have these,” she said while holding up her firsts.

This past week Gina has been very vocal via social media about gun legislation and the idea behind policy and change following the tragic high school massacre an Parkland, Florida.
Annihilation, also starring Oscar Isaac, hits theaters on February 23.
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