The actor — who’s filming his latest movie, “Emancipation,” down in NOLA right now — caught wind of the city planning on skipping this year’s big firework show due to a lack of funding … and, of course, they had to refrain from last year’s show as well — due to COVID.
A fireworks display produced by “Go 4th on the River” will take place in New Orleans along the Mississippi Riverfront at 9pm Sunday, July 4, 2021🎆🎉
The gift of city fireworks was made possible by actor and producer Will Smith, along with his company Westbrook👏⚜️ pic.twitter.com/oWI8b8YOap
He wasn’t about to let that happen though, it seems … the dude ponied up a whopping a $100,000 — with the help of his company, Westbrook — to help pay for the fireworks and for the festivities to carry on as originally planned — which will come to fruition later tonight.
So, basically … he’s the local hero for this 4th of July, and the gesture didn’t go unnoticed. He got tons of thanks from city officials, as well as locals who are more than happy to have their firework display back. The big boom will go down over the Mississippi River at 9 PM ET.
BTW, this movie that Will’s working on right now sounds like classic Oscar bait. It tells the story of a slave named Peter on a Louisiana plantation, who escapes and ends up fighting for the Union in the Civil War. It’s based on a true story too — you’ve probably seen the photo.
“Peter” is also known as Gordon … and he’s the slave who posed for that iconic photo, showing off the whipping scars on his back — which shed a light on the brutality of slavery.
Sounds like Will is ramping up to play the lead role … and considering his chops and the source material, something tells us we’ll be talking about it again next award season.