Cinema. Will Smith, from “The Prince of Bel-Air” to “Oscar” for Best Actor

The third nomination was good for Will Smith, who won the Best Actor Oscar on Sunday night. A dedication to an American actor, a real Hollywood star of the 1990s.

Beginnings in sitcoms

Will Smith was born in Philadelphia in September 1968. He is a promising student, but prefers to try his luck in music. He started hip hop in 1985 as “Fresh Prince” with his friend DJ Jazzy Jeff. The duet was successful and in 1989 received a Grammy Award. But financial difficulties convinced Will Smith to turn to comedy.

He finds an individual character in a television series. Prince of Bel Air, which was broadcast worldwide and made Will Smith an international star. The sitcom, which stars Smith as a high school student from a rugged Philadelphia neighborhood who travels to the multimillion-dollar Los Angeles area with his aunt and uncle, runs for six seasons.

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“Independence Day”, “Men in Black” … Will Smith is the star of successful blockbusters

It was during this period that the actor got his first film role, securing his status as a rising star with a very successful performance in an action movie. bad Boysin 1995.

From there, the actor reached for roles in blockbusters that were successful in theaters. In 1996, he starred in the blockbuster Independence Day like a fearless pilot fighting ugly aliens. Will Smith communicates with aliens again next year in Barry Sonnenfeld’s worldwide hit. Men in Black, along with famous and famous actor Tommy Lee Jones. In parallel, the artist releases his first solo album. Big Willie Stylesold six million copies.




Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black, released in 1997. Photo by Columbia Pictures Corporation

This success streak ends abruptly. Wild Wild West, still Barry Sonnenfeld, a box office success but a critical failure later regretted by Will Smith himself. A mistake, all the more unfortunate that Will Smith misses out on the opportunity to play the role of Neo, played by Keanu Reeves, for this film. The matrixworldwide success that left a mark on the memory.

Dramatic roles and Oscar nominations

With the advent of the 2000s, the star matured and took on more serious roles in such dramatic films as State EnemyTony Scott or The Legend of Bagger Vancedirected by Robert Redford.

It was by embodying the legendary boxer Mohamed Ali in the film by Michael Mann Ali that Will Smith wins his first Hollywood heavyweight title: an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.




Will Smith in Ali, released in 2002. Bac Films Photos

It continues despite all the blockbusters, grappling from left to right with sequels bad Boys as well as Men in Blackalways successful, or even fantastic film I am a robot. But he does not forget that he forged himself in humor and returns in 2005 with a romantic comedy. hitchin which he responds to Eva Mendes by playing a “seduction expert”.

The following year, he again claimed an Oscar with In search of happiness and his touching performance as a family man starring his own son Jayden.




Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness, released in 2007. Photo Gaumont Columbia Tristar Films

He repeats his experience in action films for the general public, most notably in 2007’s I’m a legend or in 2008 in hancock, in which he plays an alcoholic superhero.

It was under the traits of Aladdin’s genius, in the remake in real footage of the Disney cartoon, that he knew his greatest commercial success so far. The feature film grosses over a billion dollars worldwide.

Oscar as the father of the Williams sisters

Despite a filmography punctuated by commercial and critical success, it wasn’t until 2022 that Will Smith was again nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor and finally won the coveted gold statuette at age 53.

The Academy awarded him this award for his role in Williams method, a film that chronicles the incredible journey of sisters Venus and Serena Williams from the rundown tennis courts of Compton, a shady Los Angeles suburb, to their grand slam victories. Will Smith plays their father, a self-taught coach who is as determined as he is uncompromising. On stage, the comedian thanked “Venus and Serena and the entire Williams family for trusting me to tell your story. »

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Will Smith “fell in love with Richard Williams” a long time ago when he saw the man who came to the rescue of Venus, then only 14 years old, wrestling with an overly pushy reporter during an interview. “That expression on Venus’s face… that image is imprinted in my heart,” the actor said.

The actor beat out four other formidable competitors: Javier Bardem (Be Ricardo), Benedict Cumberbatch (dog power), Andrew Garfield (tick, tick… BOOM!) and Denzel Washington (The tragedy of Macbeth).

Thus, Will Smith becomes the fifth black man to win an Oscar for Best Actor, after Sidney Poitier, who died last January, Denzel Washington, who was nominated ten times and won twice, Jamie Foxx and Forest Whitaker.

Will Smith “fell in love with Richard Williams” a long time ago when he saw the man who came to the rescue of Venus, then only 14 years old, wrestling with an overly pushy reporter during an interview. “That expression on Venus’s face… that image is imprinted in my heart,” the actor said.

The first Oscar marred by a slap?

Will Smith won the first Oscar of his career after an altercation in which he took the stage to slap comedian Chris Rock. The latter just joked about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved hair. The hairstyle is not an aesthetic choice as Will Smith’s wife suffers from alopecia.

“Love makes you do crazy things,” Will Smith said with tears in his eyes as he stepped onto the stage to collect his statuette. He apologized to the Academy hosting the Oscars without mentioning Chris Rock.

“Richard Williams was a great protector of his family,” he added of the man he played on screen, alluding to a gesture he had just made on stage.

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