Will Smith says it was an ‘honor’ to give out bonuses to his King Richard co-workers: ‘I just felt that it was fair’
Will Smith said it was an ‘honor’ to give his King Richard castmates bonuses after the film wrapped.
The 53-year-old actor explained his decision to pay his co-stars out of his own pocket, telling Entertainment Tonight how COVID factored in.
‘All I can do is my part, so it’s always an honor and a pleasure for me to do my part, and everybody put in brilliant work,’ he said. ‘It was the COVID shutdowns, people really stuck with us.’
Generous: Will Smith spoke about why he gave every member of King Richard’s cast and crew bonuses during an interview with Entertainment Tonight; he is seen at the 2021 AFI Fest
‘It was a much more difficult process than anybody thought they were signing up for. I just felt that it was fair,’ he said.
It was previously revealed by The Hollywood Reporter that the performer received a payment of nearly $40 million for his work on the feature.
King Richard is centered on the life of Richard Williams, who helped his daughters, Serena and Venus, navigate their early lives as professional athletes.
Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton, who played the tennis greats, were among those who received a generous bonus from Smith.
Other cast members include Jon Bernthal, Dylan McDermott and Tony Goldwyn.
Reasoning: Smith then pointed out that, as many of the film’s cast and crew did not anticipate the hardships that would be presented by the coronavirus, he wanted to offer his financial support to alleviate their worries
Plotline: King Richard is centered on the life of Richard Williams, who helped his daughters, Serena and Venus, navigate their early lives as professional athletes
Development on the Reinaldo Marcus Green-directed feature began in 2019, and physical production began the following year.
King Richard had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival in September and it has since screened at festivals held in locations such as London, Chicago and Philadelphia.
The film received highly positive reviews from critics upon its release, with many praising Smith’s performance.
The actor praised the dedication of Richard and his ex-wife, Oracene, to his children’s success as athletes during the conversation with the media outlet.
Successful release: The film received highly positive reviews from critics upon its release, with many praising Smith’s performance
He pointed out that Williams ‘had to learn tennis himself, he and Oracene learned how to play tennis, then they learned how to teach it to their kids. It’s one of the most amazing stories.’
‘He did it all without pushing and forcing his children. He did through God, through family, through love, through dedication and devotion, to one another, and he did it without tennis being their first priority, which is magnificent,’ he added.
King Richard is set to be made available to the public in theaters and through the HBO Max streaming service on Friday.
On its way: King Richard is set to be made available to the public in theaters and through the HBO Max streaming service on Friday