Will Smith shares a sweet message given to him by Denzel Washington as they both race for the Best Leading Actor Oscar. Smith is nominated for his performance as Richard Williams in the film King Richard. King Richard follows the true story of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams as they rise to success after coaching from their father Richard. The film is helmed by Reinaldo Marcus Green and has been nominated for six Oscars in total, including Best Motion Picture of the Year.
Washington, on the other hand, is nominated in the same category as Smith for his portrayal of Macbeth in The Tragedy of Macbeth. The film is an adaptation of the classic Shakespeare play Macbeth (also known as The Tragedy of Macbeth) and is the first outing for writer/director Joel Coen without collaborating with his brother Ethan Coen. The film also stars Frances McDormand as Lady Macbeth, and is nominated for three Oscars at this year’s Academy Awards.
During the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Smith shared with People a sweet message relayed to him by his long-time mentor, Washington. During the awards, Smith took home the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, and while many people were very happy for him, Smith says that no one was happier than Washington. According to Smith, Washington took him aside after his win to say “this is your year.” This, of course, is a big statement to make when they are both up for the same Oscar. However, Smith has stated that Washington simply hugged him, gave him words of encouragement and stated, “I just love who you’re becoming.” See Smith’s full quote below:
“We’ve spent a lot of time together. So we’ve been talking, he’s always been a mentor for me and he grabbed me and he said, ‘This is your year.’ He just hugged me and he said, ‘I’m so happy for you. Just love who you’re becoming.’ He knew me years ago, I would go to Denzel for advice so he’s seen me through the years and he was just telling me how proud he is of who I’ve become and what I’ve become. He was saying that he felt like a weight was lifted off of his shoulders somehow.”
According to Smith, Washington has been a mentor in his life since his early career. Smith has stated that he used to always go to Washington when he needed advice, and through the years, Washington has expressed how proud he is of Smith’s career. Despite the two being somewhat in competition this awards season, Smith has stated that Washington has been nothing but supportive and has expressed that with Smith having come so far in his career, Washington feels “like a weight has been lifted” off his shoulders.
With such meaningful interactions such as these between the two actors, it seems that the competition between the two is only superimposed on them by the awards season. It is clear that no matter who wins the coveted Oscar in the end, both actors will be happy and proud of each other for coming so far in their careers. Even if neither of them end up winning the category, it seems that the night will still be important for both actors, and Smith and Washington will still wind up enjoying the night with each other anyway.