Will Smith stars in the sport drama ‘Concussion’, a dramatic thriller based on the story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, the brilliant Nigerian forensic neuropathologist who first discovered CTE – chronic traumatic encephalopathy – a football-related brain trauma.
Smith said he was personally motivated to get involved in the production after becoming aware of the issue:
“I wasn’t familiar at all, which was a big part of why I was impelled to be a part of it. My son played football for four years and I had no idea that this was an issue. So, when I met Bennet and we sat down, you know, went through the science of it, I was terrified as a parent.”
The film comes at a time where head trauma is a hot topic in the multi-million dollar US National Football League.
Last year 19 students died playing football, according to the University of North Carolina’s National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research.
The director, Peter Landesman, said the film is meant to give audiences information so that they can make up their own minds about the safety of the sport:
“I would never tell another parent or another teenager or an adult what to do. I’ve made a decision for myself because I know. At the end of the movie the film embraces what a conflicting problem this is.”
‘Concussion’ opened in the United States on December 25 and rolls out across Europe throughout January and February.