Twenty years ago, Will Smith had competed for an Oscar, partly because he knew how to throw a punch.
he film was Ali, and Smith was nominated for Best Actor for his portrayal of boxing legend Muhammed Ali.
Smith works hard for the role. Not only did he manage to convey Ali’s celebrated way of speaking with wit and swagger, but the ring scenes looked convincing, as did the training routine.
But we all knew it was acting.
Smith was up for another accolade on Sunday for his portrayal of another sports legend, Richard Williams, the hardworking and relentless father of tennis stars Venus and Serena. He worked hard to perfect that role in King Richard as well.
And that’s what everyone thought at first, as Smith approached comedian and presenter Chris Rock and slapped him in the face. Hollywood! Ha! What pranksters!
But then something happened.
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The audio cut off and Smith, 53, returned to his seat looking really, really angry. When he acted, he did a good job.
“Oh wow! Wow! Will Smith just blew me away,” Rock said while the audience laughed, thinking it was just a joke.
“Wow, dude. It was a GI Jane joke,” a reference to the 1997 film GI Jane, in which actress Demi Moore shaved her head.
All over the world people were reaching for their phones.
What was that? was that real What on earth just happened?
And then came confirmation from Australia and other places where the audio hadn’t been cut that Smith hadn’t played.
“Keep my wife’s name out of your damn mouth,” he’d told Rock. Then he repeated it.
Silence reigned at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. Rock somehow managed to keep going.
“It was the biggest night in television history,” he said.
Smith seemed to calm down. And then he took his place.
Jada Pinkett Smith told Billboard in December she battles the autoimmune disease alopecia, which can cause hair loss and balding.
On social media, some responded by praising Smith for standing up for his wife.
But that seemed to be the minority. Taking to Twitter, people wondered how it came about that he was allowed to go back and it sat in his chair after punching someone on live TV.
And then, in an ending literally made in Hollywood, Smith was back on stage, this time accepting the Best Actor award for his role as Richard Williams.
“Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” Smith said in his acceptance speech. “In this time of my life, in this moment, I’m over, I’m overwhelmed by what God is asking me to do and be in this world.”
“He went on to apologize to the Academy and his fellow candidates. He said he hoped they would invite him again.
He didn’t mention rock.
“It’s a beautiful moment,” Smith said.
“And I’m not crying because I won an award. It’s not about winning an award for me, it’s about being able to shine a light on everyone.”
At that moment, with his tears streaming down his face, it seemed pretty certain that Smith wasn’t playing.
https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/will-smiths-unbelievable-oscars-moment-was-straight-out-of-hollywood-41494485.html Will Smith’s incredible Oscar moment came straight out of Hollywood