Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry both talked to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum, 53, during the Sunday, March 27, awards show’s commercial break. As the actor returned to his seat, he was stopped by Bradley Cooper. The A Star Is Born star, 47, put both hands on Smith’s shoulders as they spoke, and Jessica Chastain looked on.
The Hitch star shocked audience members when he got out of his seat to hit Rock, 57, as the comedian presented the award for Best Documentary Film to Questlove.
After the South Carolina native made a joke about Jada’s hair loss, asking whether she is up for a G.I. Jane sequel, Will hit the Saturday Night Live alum and told him repeatedly: “Keep my wife’s name out of your f–king mouth.”
The Grammy winner subsequently won the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, opening up in his speech about playing Richard Williams, a “fierce defender” of his family. Will went on to reflect on others “disrespecting” him in his “highest moments,” saying, “I want to be a vessel for love.”
The “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” rapper then gave a glimpse of his conversation with Washington, 67, after the incident, saying, “Denzel said to me, ‘Be careful. At your highest moment, that’s when the devil comes for you.”
Will concluded with an apology to the Academy and the audience members. “Art imitates life,” he said. “I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.”
Jada, 50, has been open about her hair loss since sharing her alopecia diagnosis in 2018.
“At this point, I can only laugh,” the actress said in a December 2021 Instagram update. “Mama’s gonna have to take it down to the scalp so nobody thinks she got brain surgery or something. Me and this alopecia are going to be friends … period!”
The condition “was terrifying when it first started,” the Red Table Talk cohost said during a Facebook Watch show in 2018, adding, “I was in the shower one day and had just handfuls of hair in my hands and I was just like, ‘Oh, my God, am I going bald?’ I’m getting my little steroid injections, and they seem to be helping, but not curing, but they seem to be helping, but I’m open to other ideas.”