Will Smith Wins Top Honor at Hollywood Film Awards

Will Smith

Will Smith was honored with one of the top acting prizes at the 2015 Hollywood Film Awards on Sunday night (Nov. 1).

The 47-year-old actor was awarded the Hollywood Actor accolade for his role in the upcoming sports thriller Concussion.

In the film, Smith plays Dr. Bennet Omalu, who discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the brain of Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster as well as other football players. Omalu battles the NFL as they repeatedly deny any link between repeated blows to the head and the development of CTE.

When Smith originally signed on for the film, he admits that he was a little hesitant about the potential controversy involving the NFL, but now he’s not expecting any push back because of the film.

“I don’t think it’s going to generate too much controversy [with the NFL],” Smith, 47, said at the Hollywood Film Awards Sunday, according to the Associated Press. “There will be a little difficulty in swallowing it, as it was for me. I’m a football dad, you know.”

He added: “You don’t want it to be true,” Smith said on the red carpet. “I think that the science is really irrefutable and the story of Dr. Bennet Omalu is such a powerful story. I think that it will be difficult at first for some, but I don’t think that it’s going to be that big of an issue. It’s something that we have to accept.”

The NFL hasn’t said much about the film, but they did issue a statement after the first Concussion trailer was released.

“We are encouraged by the ongoing focus on the critical issue of player health and safety. We have no higher priority. We all know more about this issue than we did 10 or 20 years ago. As we continue to learn more, we apply those learnings to make our game and players safer,” the organization told Fox News.

Concussion hits theaters Christmas Day.

(Photo Credit: Mark Davis/Getty Images)