Will Smith Paid The Bill So That New Orleans Could Have Fireworks On July 4

It’s been an unusually hectic time for fireworks this year, and with good reason: Last year much of the world was at the arguable height of a massive public health crisis. While some places have run into some, shall we say, snafus, others got a happy ending. If you’re enjoying the fireworks in New Orleans this July 4, you have someone to thank. As per The Hollywood Reporter, the city — which had to cancel last year’s festivities for reasons that should be obvious — failed to make plans for this year. And upon learning this, no less than Will Smith did something about it.

The actor reportedly forked over $100,000 so that the Big Easy could enjoy some pyrotechnics over the Mississippi River. One reason he did it is because he’s currently there. Smith is shooting Emancipation, a period drama in which he plays a runaway slave escaping to freedom through the swamps of Louisiana. The film, which pairs him with director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), was originally supposed to film in Atlanta, but Smith pulled the production from the state in April after state Republicans passed draconian voting rights laws.

July 4 is, of course, a big holiday for Smith. It was 25 years ago this weekend that the nation’s movie theaters were hit with the movie that made him a major star: 1996’s Independence Day, in which he and Jeff Goldblum and others battled invading aliens. Smith did not return for the sequel, released five years ago.

Anyway, good on ya, Will Smith.

(Via THR)