Will Smith won Best Actor at the 2022 Oscars and got emotional during his acceptance speech, where he apologized for slapping Chris Rock earlier during the show. All the details.
Will Smith is finally an Oscar winner.
The King Richard star won the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for portraying Venus and Serena Williams‘ father during tonight’s 2022 Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on March 27.
Smith was nominated against an impressive list of talents including Javier Bardem (Being the Ricardos), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog), Andrew Garfield (Tick, Tick…Boom!) and Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth).
“I want to apologize to the Academy, I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees,” Smith said with tears in his eyes. “This is a beautiful moment and I’m not crying for winning an award, it’s not about winning an award for me.”
“Art imitates life, I look like the crazy father,” he added, as some in the audience laughed. “Love will make you do crazy things.”
He said, “I know to be able to do what we do you gotta be able to take abuse, you gotta be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business you gotta have people disrespecting you and you gotta pretend that that’s OK…Denzel [Washington] said to me a few minutes ago, ‘At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.’
“I want to say thank you to Venus and Serena and the entire Williams family for entrusting me with your story. That’s what I want to do. I want to be an ambassador of that kind of care and love and concern.”
Continuing to relate to his King Richard character, 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 the most strongest, most delicate people I’ve ever met. I got to protect Saniyya and Demi, the two actresses that play Venus and Serena…I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people.”
Smith concluded, “I wanna be a vessel of love. I wanna say thank you to Venus and Serena, I just hope they didn’t see that on TV.”
See the full list of 2022 Oscar winners below.