As the days grow closer to the release of the newest film in the Bad Boys series titled Bad Boys For Life, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence kicked off their US promo for the film at New York’s Apollo Theater (January 9th). Smith and Lawrence sat with Tidal’s Elliott Wilson for an exclusive Q&A before an audience of Tidal subscribers to discuss the third film in the series which comes nearly seventeen years after Bad Boys II, and as an exclusive bonus showed clips from the upcoming movie.
Speaking on the challenge of coming back together after over a decade since being onscreen with Lawrence, Will said, “When we sat down we hadn’t seen each other in a while, so the concern was always chemistry. For those first two movies we were making up stuff in our scenes, everything in those scenes was a result of the chemistry. So for me the big concern was would we still have that chemistry and literally the first day the first time we walked back into the room together…” “It was like riding a bike,” Lawrence interjected. “It was just so perfect. We just have so much fun together, we have so much respect for each other, and more than anything it’s like we’re playing different instruments. And I think that’s the main thing about being in a scene with somebody where you’re not playing the same instruments right. We’re not fighting for jokes, we’re not fighting for a certain shot. It’s just like we film a scene out and we know how to support each other in a way that’s magical,” Smith added.
Wilson asked how their onscreen characters relate to their offscreen lives in which Martin Lawrence explained,” I’m more just a family man. I’m a family guy, I love spending time with my family.” Will on the other hand was adamant that Mike Lowry was different than him an alter ego of sorts allowing him to do things he would never do in his real life.
Smith went on to describe the feeling of returning to Miami where the film is set saying, “Miami makes you act like Mike Lowry. You get to Miami and it just loosens something up in you a little bit … It’s great. The city is apart of the character in that way, just the weather and the vibe. Me and Martin we discovered Miami on the first one. It was our first time being there back in 95 and Prince had a club in Miami it was Glam Slam or something like that. Prince had a club that was all the way Prince’d out. So it’s like when you hit that town it just opens up that Bad Boy [flair]”.
Wilson asked Martin about initially bringing Will Smith on board when the first film was in development, in which Lawrence answered, “Well I had the script, they presented it to me and I had to find a co-star to star with me in the movie, and my sister brought Will’s name up to me. We were both sitcom stars and I thought about it if both of us hooked up. So I said let me have a dinner with Will, and so I had a dinner with Will and after talking with him for five minutes, how could I say no. And it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”
“At that time it was like nobody could touch Martin like just the funniest dude. I was watching his episodes and I was trying to [find] everything he was doing. So it’s like he called me. There’s a genius in Martin’s comedy and specifically in the acting that’s a very rare unique talent. I go a long way on the acting spectrum, I like to go all the way serious drama as far as I can go then [take] the comedy as I can go. And what happens, what you realize is there are very few people that can make you laugh a big hefty giant laugh without destroying the drama of the scene, and that’s a very rare thing. And you notice and you watch some movies and they’ll be holding you and you’re in and you’re involved and then a character will do something and it’s funny but somehow you just are a little bit out of it. It’s funny and you can laugh but you’re not feeling it no more. And what Martin is able to do is make you laugh as big as you laugh in a movie theater without breaking the dramatic base of what’s actually happening. You never come out of what’s happening,” Smith said in praise of Lawrence’s acting skills.
Throughout the discussion, Lawrence and Smith also reflected on both of their iconic 1990’s television sitcoms Martin and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Martin at one point delivered impersonations of his sitcom characters Jerome and Sheneneh.The pair also spoke about hip hop and the Bad Boy For Life soundtrack as well as hip hop artist DJ Khaled’s role in the film.
Bad Boys For Life will be released in movie theaters on January 17th.