Will Smith’s Memoir Reveals He Fell for This Much Older Co-Star During Filming
Will Smith is opening up in his new memoir “Will” about a co-star he fell for on set.
It turns out that Smith had feelings for Stockard Channing — who is 24 years older than Will — while filming the acclaimed 1993 movie “Six Degrees of Separation.” The co-stars, however, kept their relationship professional.
At the time, Will was married to Sheree Zampino, and they had just welcomed son Trey.
In an excerpt published by People, Will writes, "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.”
Smith continued, “She'd married a guy named Will Smith and now she was living with a guy named Paul Poitier," referencing his character’s name. "And to make matters worse, during shooting I fell in love with Stockard Channing.”
He went on, "After the film wrapped, Sheree and Trey and I moved back to L.A. Our marriage was off to a rocky start. I found myself desperately yearning to see and speak to Stockard."
Will had previously opened up about the experience to Esquire, telling the magazine in 2015, "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."
Will went on, "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.’ 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."
A few weeks later, Stockard reacted to news of Will's crush, telling Page Six, "Well, I'm very flattered. 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."
During the filming of “Six Degrees,” Channing was with cinematographer Daniel Gillham. They were together from 1990 until his death in 2014.
Will and Sheree finalized their divorce in 1995. Their son Trey is now 29. Smith went on to marry Jada Pinkett Smith, and they have two children, Jaden, 23, and Willow, 21.