Will Smith makes candid admission about King Richard and his career

The actor has won big for his latest role

As awards season progresses, it seems like no one is busier than Will Smith, who has been promoting – and celebrating – his new movie, King Richard.

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In the Oscar-nominated movie, the actor plays tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams' dad, Richard Williams. It depicts his fight to make them the iconic athletes they are today.

Fresh off his win for Best Actor at the 2022 Critics Choice Awards, Will Smith continued to celebrate his performance at Tuesday's National Board of Review Annual Awards Gala in New York City, where he also won the award for Best Actor.

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WATCH: The King Richard trailer

MORE: Will Smith calls out Critics Choice Awards during Best Actor speech

During the red carpet, he grew candid talking about his thoughts on King Richard and his career. He admitted that the biopic got the reception he thought his 2006 movie Pursuit of Happyness would get, which he confessed he believed was the best movie he'd ever made, and that he considered it an Oscar winner.

His on-screen wife Aunjanue Ellis also won the award for Best Supporting Actress. During his speech at the Critics Choice Awards on Sunday, he emphasized how the work he did on the movie wouldn't have been possible without her as his co-star.

He said: "Your father [Richard Williams] didn't do it alone, so it would be disingenuous for me to accept this role without acknowledging Aunjanue Ellis," who played the tennis stars' mother, Oracene "Brandi" Williams.


Demi Singleton, Serena Williams, Will, Venus Williams, Saniyya Sidney, and Aunjanue

Of Oracene, he said that she: "For a lot of years took a really quiet role, and I love that we were able to show what your mother did."

MORE: Will Smith reveals why Venus and Serena Williams didn't give their blessing for King Richard at first

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The star of course dedicated his speech to the Williams family, thanking them for entrusting him with their story.


Will and Aunjanue at the National Board of Review Annual Awards Gala

He continued the heartfelt tribute by expressing that: "What you were able to do and what your family was able to do inspired everyone in this room, everyone in this country, everyone around the world."

He said the Williams family represents "the best of what we all hope this country can be." 

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