#KingRichard: Will Smith's SAG, Golden Globes wins strengthen Oscar chances
Actor, rapper, and film producer Will Smith won the best actor trophy at this year's Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards for his performance in King Richard. Last month, he grabbed his first Golden Globes for the same film. Interestingly, both SAG and Golden Globes are known to be indicators for Oscars. So, will these wins finally end Smith's Oscar drought? We certainly hope so!
Smith defeated the likes of Andrew Garfield (tick, tick... BOOM!), Javier Bardem (Being the Ricardos), Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth), and Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog) to grab his first-ever SAG Award. In his acceptance speech, he pegged the win as "one of the greatest moments of my career...being called for King Richard sitting next to Venus Williams (Richard Williams's daughter)."
Calling Richard Williams "a dreamer like no one you've ever known," a teary-eyed Smith said, "He has a power of belief that borders on insanity." King Richard (2021), set in the '90s, narrates how Richard, father of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams, coached them and took them to the heights that they are at today. Smith had played him in the film.
King Richard has proved to be a game-changer for Smith. His last few releases might have done well commercially, but critics weren't that pleased. And, this translated into him not getting nominations across major awards. His last Oscar and SAG nominations before King Richard were for The Pursuit of Happyness (2007). Golden Globes was a bit lenient, giving him a nod for Concussion (2016).
Now, since Smith has bagged both SAG and Golden Globes, experts (and statistics) say his chances of winning his first Academy Award are pretty high. Sample this: 22 out of 27 previous SAG Award winners (lead actor) went on to win an Oscar. Moreover, Golden Globes is considered the second-best in awards, so a win there surely cements someone's chances of winning an Oscar.
Interestingly, all of Smith's nominations at the Oscars have been for biographical dramas. His past Academy Awards nods include the 2001 feature Ali and 2007's The Pursuit of Happyness. King Richard is in the running for Best Picture as well at the 94th Academy Awards.