After James Cameron surprisingly revealed that he’d cracked the story for all-time classic blockbuster Terminator 2: Judgement Day while high on Ecstacy, Jada Pinkett Smith has decided to come forward and admit that she took a really bad trip while shooting comedy smash hit The Nutty Professor with Eddie Murphy.
The 1996 body swap effort saw Murphy continue his career-long penchant for playing multiple characters in the same movie by tackling no less than seven roles, following the mild-mannered Sherman Klump as he takes an experimental formula that turns him into the fast-talking, charismatic and highly amorous Buddy Love, with Smith cast as his colleague and love interest Carla Purty. It remains one of Murphy’s best star vehicles to come in the 30 years since his 1980s peak, and a huge wave of audience enthusiasm saw it ride a wave of buzz to $274 million at the box office.
However, as Smith detailed in a new interview, things weren’t quite so rosy for her behind the scenes, with the actress battling personal problems that ultimately saw her alcohol and drug issues affect both her personal and professional life, which is when she decided that she had to do something about it.
“I had one incident. That was an eye-opening incident for me as well. I had one incident on The Nutty Professor, I passed out. I went to work high and it was a bad batch of ecstasy and I passed out. I told everybody that I must have had old medication in the vitamin bottle. I’ll tell you what I did though, got my ass together and got on that set. That was the last time.”
A broad comedy designed to generate the maximum amount of laughs from its high concept premise isn’t typically the sort of title you’d imagine to provide an eye-opening experience to someone struggling to overcome substance addiction, but Jada Pinkett Smith managed to win her hard-fought battle. Things might have turned out very differently, though, had passing out in her makeup chair on The Nutty Professor not provided the impetus she needed to get herself firmly back on the right track.