Will Smith reveals what his celebrity friends really thought of his acting comeback - including Rihanna

Will Smith is on a steady journey – with the exception of a bout with COVID-19 – back into the spotlight since his incident with Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars, and he is receiving loads of support from fans and celebrities alike.

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This month, the star premiered Emancipation, his first film since winning his first Oscar for best actor, honoring his role as Serena and Venus Williams' dad, Richard Williams, in King Richard.

Prior to the 30 November premiere in Los Angeles, which he attended with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith and his children, Jaden, Willow and Trey, the actor rallied support from his fellow celebrity friends, giving them an advanced screening back in October.

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Speaking with E! News on the red carpet, he revealed that none other than Rihanna was in attendance during the private screening, and that she quite enjoyed his new film.

He said: "Rihanna loved the cinematography," adding that: "She could not get over the look of the film and how it felt."

Will got together quite the star-studded crowd for the special viewing, including Dave Chappelle, Tyler Perry, Kenya Barris, and Rihanna's boyfriend A$ap Rocky.


Will also had his family by his side during the premiere

Joking about figuring out what his friends thought of the Apple TV+ period-piece, he said: "The thing that's great with Black people is they talk to the screen the whole time, so you don't have to ask people's opinion," therefore, he added: "So, I didn't have to ask anybody's opinion from the room."

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The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air lead shared a glimpse of the special screening on his Instagram back in October, including a selfie of the A-list group.

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The actor has a star-studded support system

He captioned it with: "EPIC night!! Thanx for coming to see #Emancipation. Hope ya'll enjoyed!!" and quickly received praise from fans and celebs alike. Kenya, who is a writer and producer, wrote: "This night was MAGIC and your movie is truly something that will last forever!"

The film is set during the American Civil War, and per IMDB, it follows a man named Peter, played by Will, who escapes slavery and sets out on a quest for freedom from plantation owners that nearly killed him.

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