It was a big night for Will Smith at the 2022 SAG Awards after the “King Richard” star took home Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role!
“Extra’s” Terri Seymour caught up with Will backstage and asked if it was an emotional night for him. “Yeah, it really is, and I didn't think it was going to be, but it is.”
Reflecting on playing the father of tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams, he said, “You know, Venus and Serena lived their entire careers with their father being bashed and smashed and maligned and misunderstood, and they trusted me to tell their story.”
Venus attended the awards, and Smith shared, “Just the… look in Venus' eyes when my name got called, it's like we all won. It's like her father won… it's just beautiful.”
Smith also opened up about how he related to the character, saying, “Richard Williams is very, very similar to my father, you know, Black man with a dream that every time he said he wanted to do something there were 50 reasons why he couldn't do it and everybody always told him he was crazy. My father got bashed for how he raised his kids… so I really… got Richard Williams.”
Will insisted “as an actor part of what the job is… you’re not trying to act something, you’re trying to find it inside of you, and then when they say ‘action,’ you’re trying to really feel it, you're trying to really go to the truth of the emotion to deliver whatever the idea is about the human experience, and I just understood Richard Williams so deeply and fell in love with his family.”
They also talked about how Will’s fellow nominee Denzel Washington jumped out of his chair when Smith won.
Will said, “Denzel and I have a long-standing relationship, so he’s taken a whole lot of 2 a.m. calls from me over the past couple of decades… He has seen and mentored many versions of Will Smith. He just hugged me up and he was like, ‘You know this is your year.’ He said, ‘I'm so proud of the man that you've become.’ See? I'm about to be crying again.”