Will Smith won the 2022 SAG Award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role on Sunday night. The event took place at The Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California.
Smith, 53, was up against other incredible actors, including Benedict Cumberbatch for The Power of the Dog, Denzel Washington for The Tragedy of Macbeth, Andrew Garfield for Tick, Tick… Boom!, and Javier Bardem for his role in Being The Ricardos.
Smith won for his role in King Richard, where he played the father of Venus and Serena Williams. The film is based on their true story and follows the story of how Richard Williams was determined to have his daughters’ names written down in history.
Will Smith cried while stating this win is “one of the greatest moments” of his career. “Richard Williams is a dreamer like no one you’ve 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.”
Before ending his speech, Smith shouted out the Williams family. “Venus, Serena, the Williams family, you entrusted me and our group with your story. You didn’t agree to put your name on it until you saw the final project. I get that, I get that. That’s cool. That’s real because we be messing stuff up sometimes,” Smith joked.
Venus, 41, was the only one in attendance for the ceremony. Both sisters agreed to act as executive producers on the film, but before they agreed to put their name on it, they requested the screening that Smith referenced in his speech. In an interview, Will Smith said that screening was “the worst two hours of my life,” but “they were a mess with tears, and they loved it.