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‘King Richard’ Will Smith Wins Best Actor SAG Award – The Hollywood Reporter

‘King Richard’ Will Smith Wins Best Actor SAG Award – The Hollywood Reporter


Will Smith won Best Actor in a Motion Picture for his portrayal of Venus and Serena Williams’ father, Richard Williams, in King Richard at the 2022 SAG Awards.

Smith beat fellow nominees Javier Bardem (Be the Ricardos), Benedict Cumberbatch (The power of the dog), Andrew Garfield (Tick, tick… Boom!) and Denzel Washington (Macbeth’s Tragedy).

The actor excitedly jumped up from his seat and appeared to squeal with delight as his name was called, embracing co-stars Aunjanue Ellis and Saniyya Sidney.

The win is Smith’s first SAG Award after three nominations. Behind the scenes, he reflected on the past year, which has also seen him publish a memoir, Will.

“It’s been a time of deep personal reflection, and that translates into artistic understanding and growth as a man and growth as an artist,” he said. “I’ve never had this kind of growth spurt in my life.”

On stage, he paid homage to the real family he and his co-stars portray in the Warner Bros.

“It was perhaps one of the greatest moments of my career right now because my name was called for King Richard sitting next to Venus Williams, ”Smith said, the camera cutting off the big tennis at the King Richard table.

He went on to say of the tennis stars’ father: “Richard Williams is a dreamer like no one has ever known him. He has a power of belief that borders on madness and sometimes swings over the line, which is absolutely necessary to take something from impossible to possible.

Behind the scenes, Smith said he could relate to the concept of believing “something that’s not yet true, and you have to believe it powerfully even though it doesn’t exist and the universe hasn’t yet opened the door for it to come into the world, and you have to fully believe it.

“It’s a universe of thought, so I think it’s really essential to be able to dream wildly even if it’s not something that people consider realistic,” he added.

Onstage, Smith also thanked Ellis for “demanding authenticity,” saying she did “wonderful justice” to her real-life counterpart.

As for the girls who played the younger Williams sisters, Sidney and Demi Singleton, Smith said, “Walking around this room tonight, raising yourself in this movie, indulging in this business has been one of the greatest pleasures of my life.”

Behind the scenes, he reflected further on this, saying, “This business can be so brutal and I have often seen the spirits of young people shattered by the brutality of this business.”

“I took it as a personal business,” he added. “I took Richard Williams’ perspective as a protector and just looking at their faces on their journey I was overwhelmed with the joy of being blessed enough to escort them to the gates of this profession.”

Onstage, Smith thanked the real-life Williams sisters, who executive produce the film but didn’t take credit until they saw the film, for how they “entrusted your story to me and our band.” .

Recalling how they withheld approval until they saw the finished product, Smith and Venus Williams laughed and Smith said he got it.

Smith is considered a favorite for the Best Actor Oscar for his role in King Richard and he has already won the Golden Globe, in an untelevised ceremony, for his role in the film. He is also up for BAFTA and Critics Choice awards for Best Actor.

Watch Smith’s full speech below.




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