Will Smith plays Christian Dr. Bennet Omalu in the film, "Concussion." The Oscar-winning actor has already managed to please Dr. Omalu himself and is predicted to be an Oscar 2016 contender for his performance.
"Concussion" documents about the real-life pursuit of Nigerian-born forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu of the truth with regard the harmful effects of football. Football is said to cause brain damage because of the concussions that players can get because of the game, to the chagrin and outcry of NFL. Despite the backlash, Omalu would bravely seek out the truth and disclose this. Smith's performance as the courageous Omalu already impressed the pathologist.
"He spent time with me and he was very observant. And, in fact, he (Smith) had said what made him accept the role was meeting me," Omalu told The Christian Post. "The spiritual stuff is deep. We met, we shared and we communed the love of God, and he also saw the light. The spirit of God also touched him."
Moreover, Omalu shared that Smith is a good person bordering on perfection. "Will Smith is a very good person, pristine individual. He reminded me of my childhood perception of America as the land of perfection. He optimizes perfection, it's exceptional, and he put in so much heart and soul, so much energy into this role," he explained.
Omalu added that not an ounce of his effort to help Smith play his role was wasted. All the hard work and dedication to enhancing Smith's performance on "Concussion" paid off because the actor was able to capture who is Omalu in real life, so much so that the pathologist wept when he saw the movie.
"When I saw the movie, I wept - I cried because it was almost a transubstantiation. As the movie went on I don't know what happened, I became oblivious of myself, I was now seeing me in that movie and it remained that way until the movie ended," he told Christian Post. "I woke up and was like, 'Oh my gosh what just happened.' This is how perfect he was, what a phenomenal job he has done."
Omalu also shared that if he had a choice, he would not want to be the one to discover what he did. He explained to Christian Post that he could have been the wrong person to have uncovered the relationship between football and brain damage. However, he explained that his strong faith enabled him to be courageous and bold even though the great opposition was evident.
Smith himself shared to Christian Post his journey on portraying Omalu accurately, adding that his Christian faith made it all possible. He explained that his grandmother was his connection to God.
The actor also spoke with Bonnie Bernstein of 120 Sports and expressed that he was the perfect actor to tell the story because he is an avid football fan. He added that his own lack of knowledge on the issue of football and brain damage made him want to do the movie so fellow parents can be informed.
According to the Guardian, past NFL players are now coming out to say the relationship between football and brain damage should not be dismissed. The players gave real-life accounts of how their health and lives got negatively affected because of the sport.