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Will Smith Crashed Venus Williams’ Red Carpet Interview For Some Friendly Banter, And She Aces It

Will Smith as Richard Williams in King Richard
(Image credit: Westbrook Studios)

Venus Williams may kill it on the tennis courts, but she’s also serving on the red carpet. After her father’s story was chronicled in King Richard, the film’s star and co-producer Will Smith popped by a red carpet for some friendly banter - and, natch, Venus Williams nailed it. 

At the Producers Guild Awards last weekend, Venus Williams and Will Smith enjoyed a bit of playful back-and-forth on the red carpet. Take a look below: 

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After popping by Venus Williams’ red carpet interview at the PGAs, Will Smith jokingly asked her how he did as a co-producer on King Richard. Venus wasted no time in lobbing the proverbial tennis ball right back across the net. She responded, "You know he gives me a hard time about not signing on til the end. You know, still salty about that." Will Smith promptly cracked up and said that the sisters’ delayed decision was ‘smart’ and kept the filmmakers ‘honest.’ 

It’s true that Venus and Serena Williams (along with their sister Isha Price) are credited as executive producers on King Richard. It’s also true that neither of the tennis legends officially signed off on the movie before they were able to view the finished product. That doesn’t mean they were against the project - far from it. Venus and Serena were simply waiting to confirm that the movie portrayed their father Richard in a respectful and authentic manner. 

And indeed they did: after a bit of good-natured ribbing, Venus Williams went on to commend Will Smith on his ‘courage’ in taking on the role of Richard and celebrated how he not only "showed what a father is," but "what an African-American father is." She concluded her impromptu review by giving Will Smith’s performance a "A++++." Will Smith stated that it was his "deepest desire and commitment" to "honor" Venus, Serena, and their family "in a way that would last forever." 

Venus and Serena Williams aren’t the only ones who loved King Richard. In addition to Venus’s constant interactions with appreciative fans, the film was nominated for a total of six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Will Smith. He’s already won the SAG, the Golden Globe, and the BAFTA in that particular category, making him a strong contender to take home the golden statue at the 2022 Oscars. Other nominees include Denzel Washington, Javier Bardem, and Benedict Cumberbatch - but, if Venus Williams’ review is any indication, Will Smith will take home the top prize when the ceremony airs on March 27

King Richard is now available to rent from Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, and Google Play Movies. You can also check out the rest of the 2022 Oscar nominees or find out how to stream all of the films in the running for Best Picture. 

Actor, singer, and occasional dancer. Likes: fashion, books, old buildings. Dislikes: cilantro, the NJ Turnpike, sneaker wedges.