×
Will Smith “Fell in Love” With His Co-star Stockard Channing, Causing His Marriage to Go “Off to a Rocky Start”

Will Smith “Fell in Love” With His Co-star Stockard Channing, Causing His Marriage to Go “Off to a Rocky Start”

As for how Channing felt upon learning about Smith's feelings towards her, she said she was "flattered."

Actor Will Smith is baring his heart and soul in his new and upcoming memoir, Will. Smith's revealed a more vulnerable side of his in the book, as he talks about how he fell in love with his Six Degrees of Separation costar Stockard Channing. He also revealed that this attraction towards Channing occurred during his first marriage. 

According to PEOPLE, Smith had just welcomed his son Trey with his then-wife Sheree Zampino, but despite that, he just couldn't shake off his feelings for Channing. But despite his growing feelings for her, even off the set, he made sure to keep things professional between them. 

"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," wrote Smith, 53, in his memoir, which will go on sale on November 9, 2021. "She'd married a guy named Will Smith and now she was living with a guy named Paul Poitier," his character's name in the movie. "And to make matters worse, during shooting I fell in love with Stockard Channing.



 

"After the film wrapped, Sheree and Trey and I moved back to L.A," the actor and singer continued. "Our marriage was off to a rocky start. I found myself desperately yearning to see and speak to Stockard."

Honestly, this is not the first time Smith's opened up about his feelings towards his former costar. 

In an interview with Esquire in February 2015, Smith spoke about the "dangers" of method acting. "With Six Degrees of Separation, I got a taste early of the dangers of going too far for a character," he told the magazine. "My character was in love with Stockard Channing's character. And I actually fell in love with Stockard Channing."
 
 Immediately, the Esquire reported Scott Raab asked, "Will Smith the human being did?" and Smith said yes, it was indeed him that fell for her, not his character. 



 

"Will Smith. 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?' " Smith said. "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."

 "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," he continued. 

As for how Channing felt upon learning about Smith's feelings towards her, she said she was "flattered."



 

 

"Well, I'm very flattered," Channing told Page Six at a "Six Degrees of Stockard Channing" event in March 2015. "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."

The memoir will delve into such difficult chapters from Smith's life, including love, relationships, and career. He also shared in his memoir that despite his decades of success across the film and music industries, Smith writes that he treasures his personal relationships the most. "To love and to be loved is the highest human reward," he writes.

References:

https://people.com/movies/will-smith-says-he-fell-in-love-with-costar-stockard-channing-during-his-first-marriage/?

https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/interviews/a9938/will-smith-interview-0315/

https://pagesix.com/2015/03/04/stockard-channing-flattered-by-will-smiths-love-confession/

Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo By Matthias Nareyek (Inset: Photo by Jason Kempin)

Recommended for you