Will Smith bags Best Lead Actor Oscar, compares himself to Richard Williams amid Chris Rock SLAPGATE

'King Richard' traces the story of  Richard Williams, the father and coach of famed tennis players Venus and Serena Williams


                            Will Smith bags Best Lead Actor Oscar, compares himself to Richard Williams amid Chris Rock SLAPGATE
Will Smith accepts the Actor in a Leading Role award for ‘King Richard’ during the 94th Annual Academy Awards (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
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The Academy Awards this year began with jokes and laughs as Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes stepped in on Sunday, March 27. The trio made history as this is the very first time that three women hosted the ceremony. Introduced by DJ Khaled, the trio's monologue received mixed reactions from the audience at home, while some say they 'killed it' others said it was the 'worst ever'.

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The 94th Academy Awards returned to Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 27, with the red carpet teeming with Hollywood's best and finest. This year, Jane Campion’s 'The Power of the Dog' has as many as 12 nods under its belt, becoming the most nominated film. It is also the first film by a female director to have received nominations in so many categories. Moving onto other awaited categories, the Oscar for Live-Action Short was given to 'The Long Goodbye', while 'The Queen of Basketball' clinched the Oscar for Documentary Short and Animated Feature award was taken home by 'Encanto'. Japanese drama 'Drive My Car' won the Academy Award for Best International Feature film this year.

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This year, Will Smith won the award for Best Lead Actor for his performance in 'King Richard'. The movie is an American biographical sports drama film directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green and written by Zach Baylin. It traces the story of  Richard Williams, the father and coach of famed tennis players Venus and Serena Williams. The film, which premiered at the 48th Telluride Film Festival on September 2, 2021, was theatrically released on November 19, 2021, by Warner Bros. Pictures and on the HBO Max streaming service. The other actors nominated in the Best Lead Actor category were Javier Bardem (“Being the Ricardos”), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog), Andrew Garfield (Tick, Tick … Boom!), and Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth). Last year, the award was bagged by Anthony Hopkins for 'The Father'. 

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In his acceptance speech, Smith said, "Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family. In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world. Making this film, I got to protect Aunjanue Ellis, who is one of the most strongest, most delicate people I’ve ever met. I got to protect Sinai and Demi, the two actresses who play Venus and Serena. I’m being called on in my life to love people. And to protect people and to be a river to my people."

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Social media users believe Will Smith deserved the award, however, his achievement was overshadowed as viewers were left stunned after he slapped Chris Rock for cracking a joke about Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith. Social media is at present more focused on slamming Smith rather than appreciating him for his win. Nevertheless, one user wrote, "Congrats to Will. I knew he was going to win the minute I saw King Richard. He deserved it." Another commented, "Very very proud ....my man... You totally deserve it..." "In 2002, Denzel Washington won the best actor Oscar for Training Day, Will Smith was nominated for the same category too. 20 years later Will wins best actor for King Richard in which Denzel was a nominee. So great to finally see them both as Oscar winners today," one user wrote.

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