Will Smith Thanks ‘Mentor’ Denzel Washington After Winning SAG Award for “King Richard”

CREDIT: KEVIN MAZUR/WIREIMAGE

Will Smith is taking the time to appreciate his close relationship with “mentor” Denzel Washington.

At the 28th Annual Screen Actor Guild Awards on Sunday, the actor, 53, took home the award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role for his part in King Richard.

And while nominees and attendees alike were excited for Smith’s first-ever SAG award, Washington, 67, couldn’t have been prouder of his longtime friend for his incredible achievement.

“We’ve spent a lot of time together. So we’ve been talking, he’s always been a mentor for me and he grabbed me and he said, ‘This is your year,’ ” Smith told PEOPLE (the TV Show!) host Kay Adams after he won his award.

“He just hugged me and he said, ‘I’m so happy for you. Just love who you’re becoming,’ ” he said.

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SOURCE: PEOPLE, Olivia Jakiel and Topher Gauk-Roger