Tony Goldwyn Was ‘Floored’ That Will Smith Gave ‘King Richard’ Cast Personal Bonuses: ‘I Just Couldn’t Believe It’

Will Smith opened up his checkbook for his fellow “King Richard” costars. 

When the upcoming film, which Will produced and stars in as the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, was moved from a wide theatrical release to streaming, the actor took care of the cast financially with his own money due to lost theatrical returns.

Tony Goldwyn, who plays one of Venus Williams’ tennis coaches, Paul Cohen, confirmed the news of Will’s generosity with Access Hollywood and noted that he was shocked over the personal payments.

“I’ve been doing this for over 30 years, I have never worked with anyone as generous as Will, what you said is true,” Tony told Access Hollywood’s Zuri Hall when asked about the bonuses that were given to the cast.

“When Warner Brothers decided not to release it, to put it out on streaming, there was a lot of controversy as people know and we just got a call from Will saying, ‘I’m going to make this right.’ I’ve never experienced it, I was floored. I just couldn’t believe it,” Tony continued, citing WarnerMedia’s shift to home and theatrical release of its 2021 slate.

But it wasn’t just his generosity that had Tony praising Will, it was also his seamless ability to transform into his character Richard Williams.

“The environment when you’re in his orbit is fun an everyone works really hard but he’s just, he’s a blast to work with,” Tony said. “In this character, Will is just extraordinary, the work that he puts down is amazing. From our very first rehearsal, we’re all sort of feeling our way and all of a sudden, he goes from being fun-loving Will to just a switch is flipped and he’s Richard Williams, that’s really exciting when you are witnessing that caliber of work.”

Tony added, “I was excited to work with him and I’m really excited for Will, for people to see his extraordinary performance.”

The Hollywood Reporter was first to announce the news about Will compensating the cast members.

“King Richard” will be released in theaters and on HBO Max 11/19.

Copyright © 2023 by NBC Universal, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This material may not be republished, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read More