Ever since biopic King Richard first screened for critics this summer, Will Smith has been the clear front-runner to land the Academy Award for Best Actor, thanks to a performance that’s been described as the best of his career by far.
A moving, stirring and inspiring true-life story that features an A-list megastar as the father of tennis icons Venus and Serena Williams, with an original song from Beyoncé, has ‘prestige drama’ stamped all over it. However, the former Fresh Prince’s rumored vaccination status could end up hampering his chances, according to a new report.
As per World of Reel, speculation has been swirling that Smith remains unvaccinated against COVID-19, which one publicist claimed was the reason why he hadn’t shown up at the Telluride Film Festival. On top of that, he missed the London Film Festival as well, and anyone chasing an Oscar tends to hit the campaign trail as hard as possible if they’re in with a real shot.
Earlier this month, The Hollywood Reporter also ran a piece talking about a “high-profile” unvaccinated star who saw their latest production shut down in August due a surge in COVID cases. As chance would have it, Smith’s AppleTV+ historical thriller Emancipation was temporarily halted that very same month due a rapid increase in positive tests.
Of course, none of this information has been officially confirmed or corroborated, but it’s nonetheless an interestingly coincidental set of circumstances.