Mar 28, 2022
Will Smith Oscars Acceptance Speech for Lead Actor
Speaker 1: (00:00)
And the Oscar goes to…
Speaker 2: (00:01)
Will Smith: (00:43)
Oh man. 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 was one of the strongest, most delicate people I’ve ever met. I got to protect Saniyya and Demi, the two actresses that played Venus and Serena.
Will Smith: (01:54)
I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people. I know to do what we do, you got to be able to take abuse. You got to be able have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you got to be able to have people disrespecting you and you got to smile and you got to pretend like that’s okay, But Richard Williams,
Denzel Washington: (02:46)
We love you too.
Will Smith: (02:46)
And what I loved… Thank you, D. Denzel said to me a few minutes ago, he said “At your highest moment, be careful. That’s when the devil comes for you.” I want to be a vessel for love. I want to say thank you to Venus and Serena. I just spit. I hope they didn’t see that on TV. I want to say thank you to Venus and Serena and the entire Williams family for entrusting me with your story.
Will Smith: (03:36)
That’s what I want to do. I want to be an ambassador of that kind of love and care and concern. I want to apologize to the academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment and I’m not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning an award for me. It’s about being able to shine light on all of the people. Tim and Trevor and Zach and Saniyya and Demi and Aunjanue and the entire cast and crew of King Richard and Venus and Serena. The entire Williams family. Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said. I look like crazy father, just like they said about Richard William, but love will make you do crazy things.
Will Smith: (05:05)
To my mother, a lot of this moment is really complicated for me, but to my mother, she didn’t want to come out. She’s had her knitting friend. She has a knitting crew that she’s in Philly watching with. Being able to love and care for my mother and my family, my wife, I’m taking up too much time. Thank you for this honor. Thank you for this moment. In fact, thank you on behalf of Richard and Oracene, the entire Williams family. Thank you. Hope the Academy invites me back. Thank you.