Collateral Beauty
Credit: Barry Wetcher

It’s hard to describe Collateral Beauty when no one — not even its star, Will Smith — will tell you anything beyond the basic plot listed on its IMDB page: Howard Inlet (Smith) finds his life shattered after a personal tragedy. “It’s a little bit It’s a Wonderful Life and a little bit The Wizard of Oz,” Smith says, not helping to clear things up at all. “It’s the process of Howard putting his life back together, but there’s also some interesting mystical elements.” He laughs. “Yeah, there’s huuuuge spoilers. It’s delicately framed in a way that’s going to be tough to promote.”

Collateral Beauty opens on Dec. 16. You can see Smith and Helen Mirren in an exclusive new photo above, and get more on the film (sort of) from him below.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So you can’t talk plot but you can talk your cast — Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren and Keira Knightley. That’s quite a lineup!

WILL SMITH: It’s like a small-movie superhero cast: The Avengers of a Christmas dramedy! Coming to set and having every scene be with that level of actor? I love the test and artistic demand. I loved being pushed every day and watching how other people work. I mean…Helen Mirren is ridiculous.

The film was shot all over Manhattan and Queens. How was filming in New York?

When you’re shooting in New York, it gives it a little bit of extra flavor. It’s like cooking something in one of your grandmother’s old pots — you know, where that stuff is just caked on and you can’t even see the pot anymore? It wouldn’t taste as good if you used anything else. New York is like that. You just have to be careful about blocking streets. That does not go over well with New Yorkers. [Laughs]

I see that this movie opens the same weekend as a little movie called Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Uh, yes. They call that counter programming…I call it getting smashed on Christmas.

To continue reading more from EW’s Fall Movie Preview, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on newsstands Friday, or buy it here – and subscribe now for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

Collateral Beauty
  • Movie