Will Smith gave an emotional speech at the SAG Awards after receiving the award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role, which he got for his work in King Richard. Smith praised the honor as “one of the greatest moments of his career” as he accepted the medal in front of Venus Williams, the tennis sensation who is represented in the King Richard biography, and her sister.
“Thank you. That may have been one of the greatest moments of my career just now. Because my name was called for King Richard, sitting next to Venus Williams,” the actor who played Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena, said.
Richard was described by Smith as a “dreamer like no one you have ever known.”
“He has a power of belief that borders on insanity and sometimes tips over the border, which is absolutely necessary to take something from impossible to possible,” the actor said.
As she sat in the crowd, listening to Smith’s address, Venus was overcome with emotion. Smith hailed co-star Aunjanue Ellis, as well as rising talents Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton, as he continued his remarks.
“Aunjanue you pushed every single day. You demanded authenticity and you did it in such a beautiful and quiet, powerful way,” the 53-year-old said. “Saniyya and Demi these two young ladies … you guys are actors, so you know how sometimes your on-screen characters kind of bleed into real life. To walk you around this room tonight, to parent you on this film, to deliver you into this business has been one of the greatest pleasures of my life.”
Smith, who won his first SAG Award on Sunday, was up against Benedict Cumberbatch, Javier Bardem, Andrew Garfield, and Denzel Washington, according to E! News. Reports on the news The King Richard star was also nominated for an Academy Award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture, but he didn’t win. In a message to E! The Hollywood legend expressed his gratitude to the Williams family for entrusting him with their narrative, saying he is “humbled and honored.”
“Getting to walk in Richard’s shoes and having the opportunity not only to show the world how misunderstood he was but also to illuminate the true plight of this family as they paved their own road to becoming two of the most iconic names in sports history,” he said. “I’m beyond grateful for this experience, for this ensemble cast being recognized, and am mostly proud to play a small part in shining further light and love on the Williams family!”
So well deserved. Will Smith takes home his first Actor® for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role! #sagawards