Years After Oscar-Winning Tennis Role, Will Smith Takes First Lesson


Will Smith famously (or infamously) won an Academy Award for playing Richard Williams, the father of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams, in the hit movie King Richard. But despite telling a compelling story from the tennis world, Smith never had to pick up a racket and take any lessons before stepping into the role. That is, until now. 

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star took to Instagram to give fans a look at his first-ever tennis lesson. “You know I got my tennis gear. I just wanted my gear to be right. And I know if you’re going to play tennis, you can’t play tennis without a headband,” he said. Several clips showed him working up a sweat as he hit the ball and enjoyed his time on the court. It wasn’t until after the lesson, however, that he realized he wasn’t wearing his special piece of apparel the whole time. “Aw, man, I didn’t have my headband on for the whole lesson!” he lamented. “This is tennis! I blew it.” 

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Some people in the comments found it funny that he never had a proper tennis lesson despite playing a looming figure in two tennis legends’ lives. “King Richard is not proud,” one Instagram user wrote. Another commenter tagged Serena Williams and told her, “Come get your boy Will.” One former collegiate tennis player corrected him on the misconception that headbands are to be used on the tennis court. “No, brother! I played on two college tennis teams and no players on either teams wore headbands!” they wrote. “That’s a myth!”

Contrary to popular belief, a headband doesn’t really have an effect on how well you can play tennis. 

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