Will Smith’s Inner Circle: Denzel Washington, Tyler Perry and More Close Friends

People he can rely on. Will Smith is facing backlash after slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars, but he’s been building these friendships for years.

Denzel Washington immediately consoled Smith after the Ali star slapped Rock for making a quip about Jada Pinkett Smith‘s hair loss a the awards show on March 27. (She suffers from alopecia.) Smith marched up to the stage and smacked the Everybody Hates Chris star. “Keep my wife’s name out your f—king mouth,” the actor yelled after returning to his seat.

Washington was among the first to speak with Smith after the incident, and The scandal-ridden star even name-dropped the legendary star during his Best Actor acceptance speech later that night.

“I know to do what we do, you gotta be able to take abuse, and you gotta be able to have people talk crazy about you,” Smith said while accepting the Oscar for his role in King Richard. “In this business, you gotta be able to have people disrespecting you and you gotta smile and you gotta pretend like that‘s OK.”

He continued, “Denzel said to me a few minutes ago, he said, ‘At your highest moment, be careful. That’s when the devil comes for you.’ It’s, like, I want to be a vessel for love.”

People he can rely on. Will Smith is facing backlash after slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars, but he’s been building these friendships for years.

Denzel Washington immediately consoled Smith after the Ali star slapped Rock for making a quip about Jada Pinkett Smith‘s hair loss a the awards show on March 27. (She suffers from alopecia.) Smith marched up to the stage and smacked the Everybody Hates Chris star. “Keep my wife’s name out your f—king mouth,” the actor yelled after returning to his seat.

Washington was among the first to speak with Smith after the incident, and The scandal-ridden star even name-dropped the legendary star during his Best Actor acceptance speech later that night.

“I know to do what we do, you gotta be able to take abuse, and you gotta be able to have people talk crazy about you,” Smith said while accepting the Oscar for his role in King Richard. “In this business, you gotta be able to have people disrespecting you and you gotta smile and you gotta pretend like that‘s OK.”

He continued, “Denzel said to me a few minutes ago, he said, ‘At your highest moment, be careful. That’s when the devil comes for you.’ It’s, like, I want to be a vessel for love.”

A week later, on April 2, Washington addressed the controversy during a panel at the T.D. Jakes Leadership Summit. “There’s a saying when the devil ignores you, then you know you’re doing something wrong,” the Tragedy of Macbeth actor said. “The devil goes, ‘Oh no leave him alone, he’s my favorite.’ Conversely, when the devil comes at you, maybe it’s because he’s trying to do something right. And for whatever reason, the devil got a hold of him that night.”

Washington added that he couldn’t ignore what had just taken place. “No way I could have sat in my seat,” he explained. “That’s just not who I am. … Fortunately, there were people there, not just me but others, [like] Tyler Perry, came immediately right over there with me.”

Perry also has a long history with Smith. The Men in Black actor brought him along on his international press tour for Seven Pounds in 2008 to show him how to sell a film overseas. When the Madea creator opened Tyler Perry Studios a decade later, a soundstage at the 330-acre Atlanta studio was officially named in honor of Smith.

Scroll down for a look inside Smith’s inner circle:

Denzel Washington
“Throughout the years, I would always call Denzel,” Smith told GQ in September 2021. “He’s a real sage. I was probably 48 or something like that and I called Denzel. He said, ‘Listen. You’ve got to think of it as the funky 40. Everybody’s 40s are funky.’ He said, ‘But just wait till you hit the f—k -it 50s,’ ” Smith told me. “He said, ‘Just bear with your 40s.’ I stopped and I was like, ‘The funky 40s and the f—k​​-it 50s.’ And that’s exactly what happened. It just became the f—k-it 50s, and I gave myself the freedom to do whatever I wanted to do.”

Tyler Perry
When Smith’s memoir Will was released in November 2021, Perry shared a photo of the book via Instagram. “I can’t wait to read every word. After all these years this man still inspires me on every level!! Thank you @willsmith for this glimpse of truth,” he captioned the snap.

Jordyn Woods
The model was pictured at a post-Oscars celebration with the Hitch star, who is a longtime family friend. At the start of Woods’ March 2019 appearance on Red Table Talk, Pinkett Smith and Woods called Smith for some words of wisdom and revealed that Smith used to work with her father.

“There’s a lot of things about our relationship to [Woods’] family,” Smith said. “Jordyn’s father worked on Fresh Prince before she was born, and I know how hard it was for you and your family when he passed. And I was watching you grow and become a woman, and I had a deep sense that we would be here one day. And what i want to say to you is that the world attacks. It just happens. You’ll never get around the world attacking you, but I want you to know that you are supported. I got you.”

Woods added, “You knew me before I knew myself.”

DJ Jazzy Jeff
The DJ (a.k.a. Jeffrey Allen Townes) and Smith were known as the hip-hop duo DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. While their last album was released in 1993, they remain close. In 2019, Smith celebrated his birthday by joining Townes on stage in Budapest to perform their greatest hits.

“Me and DJ Jazzy Jeff got started in Philly over 30 years ago,” Smith told the audience. “There has never been a time in my life when I didn’t look to the side and have a great friend, and it is so important who your friends are. And DJ Jazzy Jeff, for more than half of my life, has been one of the best friends I’ve ever had in this world.”

In April 2022, Jeff defended his friend’s behavior at the Oscars during an interview with Chicago radio station 107.5 WCGI. “Don’t get it twisted that this was something that he was proud of. It was a lapse in judgment,” the producer said. “I think the thing that I’ve realized is I don’t know too many people that has had the least amount of lapse of judgment than him. I can name 50 times that he should’ve smacked the s–t out of somebody and he didn’t. So, for him to have a lapse in judgment, he’s human. And I think a lot of the criticism comes from the people who don’t think people like that are human.”

Martin Lawrence
The original Bad Boys was released in 1995, and the stars have remained friends ever since. While promoting the third installment in January 2020, Lawrence raved about his costar. “I love this guy. I don’t get to see him much because he’s working all the time, but I love him. We’re the best of friends,” Lawrence said during an appearance on “Sway’s Universe.”

Smith replied, “This dude right here is one of the most honest and generous and caring people I’ve ever met.”

Lawrence supported Smith after the Oscars, writing via Instagram, “Congratulations to my brotha Will on taking home the Oscar!”

Source & Credit: usmagazine.com

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