Will Smith was certain The Pursuit of Happyness would be the pinnacle of his career until he made King Richard.
In the new biographical drama, the Hollywood star portrays Richard Williams, the father and coach of tennis players Venus and Serena Williams, who are played by Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton.
Reflecting on the film in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Smith explained that the shoot ended up being a very "special" moment in his career.
"You always hear that cliché, 'Oh, I laughed, I cried,' (but) it's one of those films that really covers a broad spectrum of emotion and ideas, that's truly rare," he shared. "I had secretly in my mind felt that I would never make anything better than (2006 movie) The Pursuit of Happyness, and I never said that out loud, but I felt like I would never make anything better than The Pursuit of Happyness and then I saw King Richard."
King Richard, which also features Aunjanue Ellis, Jon Bernthal, and Tony Goldwyn, earned six nominations at the Critics Choice Awards, and four nods at the Golden Globes, with Smith winning the Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama prize.
And the actor noted that it is important for him to continue making films that make viewers smile.
"I want to tell stories that make me cry and I want to tell stories about the triumph of the human spirit and the women of the movement, and King Richard fit in with that. The amount of time we spend on the set and on these things, I don't want to ask anybody ever to do anything that they're not going to be proud of for the rest of their life," the 53-year-old stated. "I want it to contribute to the evolution, and the growth of the consciousness and loving connection between human beings."