Will Smith leads hundreds in campaign against homelessness
NEW YORK: Will Smith still feels "emotional" about homelessness years after playing a destitute man in one of his most acclaimed film roles.
The US actor addressed charity campaigners braving a fierce New York winter night.
Hundreds of people had gathered in Times Square last Saturday, rugged up and ready to bunk down in freezing temperatures, in The World's Big Sleep Out campaign to raise funds for what organisers said was record homelessness globally.
The 51-year-old told the crowd that his Oscar-nominated role in 2007's The Pursuit Of Happyness was a "life-changing experience" that had allowed him to understand the misery of poverty.
"It makes me emotional thinking about it right now," he said.
"To not have a place to go and to be able to lay your head down with your children at night is a horrendous tragedy."
Smith also charmed the large crowd with a "bedtime story" - the rap from his 1990s hit sitcom and claim to fame The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air. - AFP