Will Smith shares he 'fell in love' with Stockard Channing making Six Degrees Of Separation


Will Smith has revealed he ‘fell in love with Stockard Channing’ while they filmed their 1993 movie Six Degrees Of Separation.

At the time Will was 24-years-old and less than a year into his marriage to his first wife Sheree Zampino, who had also just given birth to their son Trey.

‘Our marriage was off to a rocky start. I found myself desperately yearning to see and speak to Stockard,’ he wrote in his upcoming memoir which People has excerpted, while noting that nothing came of his feelings.

Remember when: Will Smith has revealed he 'fell in love with Stockard Channing' while they filmed their 1993 movie Six Degrees Of Separation

Remember when: Will Smith has revealed he ‘fell in love with Stockard Channing’ while they filmed their 1993 movie Six Degrees Of Separation

Will married Sheree in May 1992 six months before their child was born – and then she had to contend with his Method acting for Six Degrees Of Separation. 

In a story inspired by reality, he starred in the film as a con man who persuades a couple played by Stockard and Donald Sutherland that he is Sidney Poitier’s son. 

‘Sheree and I were in the first few months of our marriage with a brand-new baby and for Sheree, I can imagine that this experience was unsettling to say the least,’ the movie star wrote in his upcoming book Will. 

‘She’d married a guy named Will Smith and now she was living with a guy named Paul Poitier. And to make matters worse, during shooting I fell in love with Stockard Channing,’ added Will, who was already a star then from Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air.

The way they were: At the time Will was less than a year into his marriage to his first wife Sheree Zampino, with whom he is pictured in 1991 when they were dating

The way they were: At the time Will was less than a year into his marriage to his first wife Sheree Zampino, with whom he is pictured in 1991 when they were dating

‘After the film wrapped, Sheree and Trey and I moved back to LA,’ which is where he was ‘desperately yearning to see and speak to Stockard.’

When Will first publicly discussed his feelings for Stockard in 2015 she responded by telling Page Six that she was ‘flattered’ by them. 

‘That’s a wonderful thing…I adored him from the first time I laid eyes on him because I thought he was genuinely sweet. I felt very protective of him, because it was his first big job. It’s amazing for me to hear that he felt that way, I’m delighted.’ 

He had just revealed that his experience with Six Degrees Of Separation eventually drove him to swear off Method acting.

Inspired by reality: He starred in the film as a con man who persuades a couple played by Stockard and Donald Sutherland that he is Sidney Poitier's son

Inspired by reality: He starred in the film as a con man who persuades a couple played by Stockard and Donald Sutherland that he is Sidney Poitier’s son

‘With Six Degrees Of Separation I got a taste early of the dangers of going too far for a character. My character was in love with Stockard Channing’s character. And I actually fell in love with Stockard Channing,’ he told Esquire.

‘So the movie was over and I went home, and I was dying to see Stockard. I was like: “Oh no! What have I done?” That was my last experience with Method acting, where you’re reprogramming your mind. You’re actually playing around with your psychology. You teach yourself to like things and to dislike things.’

He confessed: ‘It is a really dangerous place when you get good at it. But once I had that experience, I was like, No more Method acting.’

The Wild Wild West star shared that I was spending – for Six Degrees, I wanted to perform well so badly that I was spending six and seven and eight days in character before shooting, and you have to be careful with that.’ 

Young love: Will married Sheree in May 1992 six months before their child was born; they are pictured that January attending the American Music Awards

Young love: Will married Sheree in May 1992 six months before their child was born; they are pictured that January attending the American Music Awards

Blended family: Will's current and former wife have settled into a friendly relationship and Jada is pictured this Instagram post spending quality time with Trey

Blended family: Will’s current and former wife have settled into a friendly relationship and Jada is pictured this Instagram post spending quality time with Trey

Sheree filed for divorce from Will in 1995 and in a Facebook video she posted five years ago she elaborated on why they broke up. 

Denying claims that ‘infidelity’ caused their divorce, she revealed that ‘our marriage ended because we were so young. We were the same age then as our son is now. And it’s just a lot of responsibility. Marriage is not easy especially at that age, and now we’re trying to, you know, be parents, navigate through our marriage.’

She elaborated: ‘I couldn’t reconcile all of that. Will was, you know, becoming bigger and bigger with his career. I’m becoming smaller and smaller and smaller and I just, I didn’t have the tools. We didn’t have the tools to make it work. I left because I was unhappy. It’s really that simple. I left because I was unhappy.’ 

Will went on to marry his current wife Jada Pinkett Smith in 1997 and they are now the proud parents of two children called Jaden, 23, and Willow, 21.

'Marriage for us can't be like a prison': Will went on to marry his current wife Jada Pinkett Smith in 1997 and he recently revealed to GQ that they have an open marriage; pictured in 2019

‘Marriage for us can’t be like a prison’: Will went on to marry his current wife Jada Pinkett Smith in 1997 and he recently revealed to GQ that they have an open marriage; pictured in 2019

Sheree and Jada have been open about the fact they had a fractious relationship at the start but they have now settled into a friendly rapport. 

Jada in fact became involved with Will before his divorce from Sheree was finalized -and on her talk show Red Table Talk she expressed regret over doing so.

‘Because I did not understand marriage. I didn’t understand divorce. I will say that I probably should’ve fell back,’ Jada told Sheree on the series.

Will also appeared on a Father’s Day special of Red Table Talk and reflected on his divorce saying: ‘With Sheree and with Trey, that was a really difficult time.’

He called the breakup of his first marriage ‘the worst thing in my adult life’ and added: ‘Divorce was the ultimate failure for me.’

Will shared: ‘I’ve been hurt a lot in my adult life, but I don’t think anything touches the failure of getting divorced from my two-year-old son’s mother.’

In a recent interview with British GQ he revealed that he and Jada have an open relationship, arguing that ‘marriage for us can’t be a prison.’

The bombshell came over a year after he and Jada spoke on Red Table Talk about what she called her ‘entanglement’ with singer August Alsina during their marriage. 

There he is: Last year Will and Jada publicly her 'entanglement' with singer August Alsina during their marriage; Jada and August are pictured in 2017

There he is: Last year Will and Jada publicly her ‘entanglement’ with singer August Alsina during their marriage; Jada and August are pictured in 2017

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