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Will Smith Wins First Ever Oscar After Chris Rock Incident

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Will Smith Wins First Ever Oscar After Chris Rock Incident

The 94th Academy Awards marks a major milestone for Will Smith, who's just earned his first-ever Oscar.

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It's been an eventful night for the star, having sent the internet into a frenzy after slapping Chris Rock in the face.

Just moments before Smith accepted the Best Actor accolade for his leading role in King Richard, Rock made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, suggesting she looked like 'GI Jane'.

Smith then walked up to the stage and shockingly landed a slap on Rock before heading back to his seat.

The 53-year-old actor addressed the incident in his speech, saying: "I want to apologise to the academy. I want to apologise to all my fellow nominees."

He continued: "Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things."

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Smith beat out competition from Denzel Washington in The Tragedy of Macbeth, Javier Bardem in Being the Ricardos, Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog and Andrew Garfield in Tick, Tick...Boom!

Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, the film tells the true story of tennis champions Venus Williams (Saniyya Sidney) and Serena Williams (Demi Singleton).

However, the athletes aren't actually at the centre of this biopic, which explores how the sports legends were raised to greatness by their father, Richard, portrayed by Smith.

It's hard to believe the actor hasn't won an Oscar before, having enjoyed a long and wide-ranging career on both the big and small screen.

Of course, Smith started out as a rapper under the name The Fresh Prince, only to go on to achieve mainstream success for his fictionalised self-portrayal on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Credit: Warner Bros.
Credit: Warner Bros.

But over the years he's gone on to star in a variety of movies, from the 1997 sci-fi classic Men in Black to the live-action Disney flick Aladdin.

The star has also received Oscar nominations for Best Actor in the past for his more serious roles, including in Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness.

While he didn't make the cut, this has all changed, and now Smith can finally be called an Oscar-winning actor.

As for the film itself, the story follows the true story of how Richard trained his two girls, who would become not just world champions, but timeless icons for women in the sport from a young age.

Credit: Warner Bros.
Credit: Warner Bros.

But here's the surprising element: Richard never played tennis himself. His drive and determination to train his daughters in the sport wasn't born from a love for the game, but a need for money.

Richard wanted his children to be successful and decided tennis was the way to go after seeing pro female tennis player Virginia Ruzici had won $40,000 during a tournament, he told Q on CBC back in 2014.

As Serena and Venus's careers progressed, Richard began to take a back seat and turned to other interests such as photography. The film documents his journey as a tennis coach as well as delving more into the family's life off the tennis court.

Words: Daisy Phillipson

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: TV and Film, Academy Awards, Will Smith, Oscars

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