What Award Is Will Smith Up For?
Will Smith was the overwhelming favorite to win the Oscar for best actor coming into the night, having won practically every major precursor award, including the Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice Award, BAFTA, and SAG Award.
Nonetheless, he faced heavy competition from Benedict Cumberbatch, who starred in the evening’s most nominated picture, Netflix’s The Power of the Dog, and Andrew Garfield, whose role as Rent composer Jonathan Larson in Tick, Tick…Boom! generated a surge of support.
Denzel Washington and Javier Bardem rounded out the category with their respective performances in The Tragedy of Macbeth and Being the Ricardos.
Smith’s powerful but sensitive portrayal as the determined tennis instructor ultimately won the day.
Who Won Best Actor in a Leading Role?
Will Smith won his first Oscar, only minutes after leaping onto the stage and smacking comic Chris Rock in the face.
The former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air won the award for best actor for his performance in the movie King Richard III.
Rock was responding to a joke made at Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
“Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2,” Rock replied, referring to Pinkett Smith’s freshly shaven hair.
Smith can be seen smiling at the joke at first, but then rolling her eyes and clasping her fists, looking dissatisfied with the remark.
“That was a beautiful one, huh,” Rock says, but as he carries on, he begins to wobble, muttering “Uh oh” as Smith gets up from his seat and approaches him.