Surprise! Aunjanue Ellis Receives A Visit From Will Smith at Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards

Smith introduced Ellis, who was an honoree, and described his co-star as someone with ‘fierce, noble integrity.’

King Richard star Aunjanue Ellis received a big surprise at the Essence Black Women In Hollywood Awards and it wasn’t the award itself according to People.

Smith’s co-star, Will Smith, showed up to the festivities to introduce Ellis who was being honored that evening and made an emotional speech about the 53-year-old actress  describing the star as someone with  “fierce, noble integrity.”

"I'm so excited to be here for my friend Aunjanue Ellis," Smith said

"I'm over 50 now — once you get over 50 you don't get a whole lot of new friends. For me to have found a new friend at this age is really special.

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“The one thing, if there is a central word that describes Aunjanue Ellis, it is integrity," Smith said. "She don't care about money, she don't care about making our day on set, she cares about treating people right. She does not play injustice, she does not play brutality, physical or otherwise, and at the core of Aunjanue is a fierce, noble integrity.”

While trying to hold back tears, the Fresh Prince alum said it was an “honor” to work with the actress and “to deliver love to the world with her.”

"She keeps me focused on what we're supposed to be doing," he added. "It's been a pleasure and an honor. With the movie, we had to shut down due to COVID and start back up again with COVID protocols and stuff, so we've been like war buddies these last few years. I'm honored to stand here with you and beside you and for you."

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Both are nominated for an Oscar this Sunday, with actress Nia Long already applying pressure to the Academy to make sure Ellis leaves on Sunday with the Academy Award of Merit.

"If you don't win that damn Oscar, I'm gonna kick somebody's a** for real,"she said while accepting her award. "Not that you need it to be great, but it's your time."

We’ll just have to see what happens on Sunday at the Oscars, which starts at 8 PM ET on ABC.

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