Asked if Obama had really earned the peace prize, Smith's wife, actress Jada Pickett Smith who will co-host the concert with her husband, insisted: “All I can say is that our President has opened his arms to the world and he has been a huge symbol of change himself. So, I have to say that I was quite honored when he was bestowed the Nobel Peace Prize.” Will Smith chimed in with how “they've been giving out that award for a hundred and some years, so they get kind of good at picking” the honoree.
Audio: MP3 clip (30 seconds)
CNN.com will stream the concert live at 2 PM EST on Friday. It will air early next year in the U.S. -- on A&E, I think.
From June of 2008: “Will Smith on Obama: 'First Time' in Years it's Good to Be an American.”
From the Thursday, December 10 Situation Room:
DAN LOTHIAN: Will and his wife Jada. They're the Hollywood power couple, longtime supporters of President Barack Obama. They're here to take part in the concert tomorrow night, the Nobel concert. You know, they have been, they're really excited about being here and I really asked them a number of questions about various different issues, but in particular, why was it so important for them to leave sunny Southern California to come here to frigid Oslo to take part in this special event.
WILL SMITH: It's a fantastic historical event, you know. Barack Obama as a person is a fantastic individual, but Barack Obama as an idea marks an evolutionary flash point for humanity, you know. So it's something that we absolutely, positively had to be a part of.
LOTHIAN: There's been a lot of criticism about the President get thing award when he essentially is still writing that script.
WILL SMITH: Absolutely.
LOTHIAN: Is it a valid criticism, do you think? That he doesn't deserve this right now?
JADA PINKETT SMITH: Well, all I can say is that our President has opened his arms to the world and he has been a huge symbol of change himself. So, I have to say that I was quite honored when he was bestowed the Nobel Peace Prize.
WILL SMITH: They've been giving out that award for a hundred and some years, so they get kind of good at picking-
LOTHIAN: I know the President talked about it. If a movie is going to be made, he wants you to play Barack Obama.
WILL SMITH: Now that I can do that. Yeah. You know, that's what is, the ears...