Actor Will Smith has learned that football players face different potential risks from acquiring repetitive head trauma in his upcoming film, “Concussion.” The actor admitted that it was a “revelation” for him.

In the film, which is based on a true story, Smith plays Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist who discovered Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). The actor said he was shocked when he knew some of the statistics behind the case of Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster -- the first man diagnosed with CTE.

"The thing that was a revelation for me with this is that it's not really the big hits that are the problem, but more of the issue is the repetitive head trauma," he said.

The 47-year-old actor revealed to People on Tuesday that football player Webster sustained more than 70,000 blows to his head from his younger years throughout his 18-year professional career.

According to Smith, this “revelation” inspired him to perform the role of Dr Omalu and finish the film. The father-of-three also realised how important its is for him to share the story.

"Some of the best times I ever had with my oldest son were on that football field. It was such a revelation for me. The big thing was I had no idea. I had no idea the potential issues of head trauma. That's not what I was worried about. For me as a parent, the important part was to get the information out, because I feel like you just have to know,” the actor said.

Smith told Associated Press earlier this month that he hesitated at first to take the film because he felt conflicted as a parent. He, however, doesn't think that the film would generate too much controversy.

In 2002, Dr Omalu examined the brain of Webster and other football players from the Pittsburgh Steelers. From his repetitive examinations of the NFL players, Dr Omalu discovered CTE and claimed that the sport could cause a long-term threat to a player’s health. PBS Frontline reports that the discovery of CTE changed football.

“Concussion” follows the discovery of CTE by Dr Omalu and how it changed the lives of professional football players. Peter Landesman directed the film with the script written by Peter Landesman and Jeanne Marie Laskas.

The film stars Smith along with Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Bitsie Tulloch and David Morse, who will play the role of Mike Webster.

“Concussion” will hit theatres on Dec. 25 in the US and Feb. 18 in Australia.

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