Will Smith

Bad Boys II

Interviewed by Alana Lee

“ He reminds us we were TV stars until he gave us guns and took our shirts off, and then people wanted to have sex with us ”

After box office success with Men In Black 2 and an Oscar nod for his portrayal of boxer Muhammad Ali in Michael Mann's Ali, Will Smith returns to the role which made him a star in Bad Boys II.

What did you like about returning to the character of Mike Lowrey after eight years?

I love that Mike Lowrey didn't change one bit! The guy's been 23-years-old for the past ten years - he hasn't changed anything in his life. That's the stress in the relationship, because Martin's character really wants my character to just grow up, and he won't. That's a good conflict.

You and Martin are good friends, but were you nervous at all about re-teaming for a sequel to a film you did so long ago?

Martin and I have a wonderful, wonderful chemistry. The chemistry was great eight years ago, and I was a little worried whether it would still be there eight years later. But as soon as we hit the ground, it was right there. It was beautiful. Those characters are alive in both of us and it was magic.

Bad Boys made you a big star, and you haven't looked back since...

Yeah, and Michael [Bay, director] always made it very clear that he made Martin and I film stars! He reminds us we were TV stars until he gave us guns and took our shirts off, and then people wanted to have sex with us. It's pretty darn close to true! That one scene in the first movie when I was running with my shirt off - that's the first time I sat in the back of a movie theatre, at the premiere of Bad Boys, and I'm watching that scene where I'm running in slow motion with my shirt off, and a woman a few rows over went: "M-mmmm!!" I'd never had that reaction before!

How was it working with Michael Bay again?

With Michael, he always pushes the envelope. He's always trying to get the actor to do as much stuff as you're willing to do, and you just have to tell him "no" when you're not comfortable.

There's a load of action in this film - guns, cars, the lot...

It's pure testosterone fantasy, and that's actually the beauty of this film. It's a really male, raw, animal nature of what it means to be a man - and the little boy fantasies that you carry into your manhood. It's fast cars, and it's women, and it's Miami, and it's hot, and there are cars!

Mike Lowrey is my alter ego - if I could put sunglasses on and wear a tight t-shirt and carry a Glock around the streets all day long. That character is the guy inside me that I suppress in order to live a real life!