Smith portrayed the boxer in the 2001 biopic, Ali, and was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his performance.
“It’s absolutely beautiful. We did a two-hour procession through the state … the outpouring of love,” Smith told ET’s Nischelle Turner exclusively. “I learned a really valuable lesson about how the moment of the end of a life illuminates how it was lived. And every day you have to focus and concentrate on making sure you’re living your life in a way that it illuminates the things you want illuminated, and the things that were illuminated today were his love, and his heart, and his unconditional appreciation for all people of every race and color.”
“Every age was out there,” he added, referring to the thousands of people who lined the streets in Louisville to pay respect to Ali. “It was beautiful. It was absolutely … ‘celebration’ is the right word.”