Will Smith Wrote Bonus Checks to ‘King Richard’ Co-Stars
Will Smith decided to write personal bonus checks to his King Richard co-stars after Warner Bros. decided to shift the movie from a theater-only release to day-and-date, meaning it will also premier on streaming services.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Smith got a $40 million payday for his role as the father of Venus and Serena Williams.
“A source described the payments as a nice bonus, given by Smith on top of what they already received from the studio as compensation for the pivot to simultaneous HBO Max release strategy,” THR writes.
The co-stars include Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton, Jon Bernthal, Aunjanue Ellis and Tony Goldwyn, who in an interview with Access praised Will’s generosity, recalling Smith telling the cast he was “gonna make this right.”
“I’ve been doing this for over 30 years, I have never worked with anyone as generous as Will,” said Goldwyn, 61. “When Warner Brothers decided to put it in streaming, there was a lot of controversy as people know, and we just got a call from Will saying ‘I’m gonna make this right.’ I’ve never experienced it. I was floored, I just couldn’t believe it.”
Layla Crawford also said that Smith’s generosity went beyond simply writing a check. “He gave us all Polaroid cameras and different treats all the time,” Crawford said. “He’s such a generous and sweet person. He also gave us iPhone 12 Pro Max gifts in boxes. We ripped them open and everyone started crying. I literally cried my eyes out—it was the best gift ever.” Crawford added that Will is “a blessing” and she “learned so much from working with him.”
Image source: Forbes