Bad Boys’ Will Smith Admits He Sometimes Has To Pretend To Like His Own Movie During Publicity Tour

Will Smith in Ang Lee's Gemini Man
(Image credit: (Paramount))

Will Smith comes off as a likable and genuine guy, and he's remained as such throughout his incredibly successful career. The 51-year-old actor is no stranger to opening up on a talk show or laying down hilarious stories or heartfelt pieces of advice either. But, at the end of the day, Hollywood is a business, and when Will Smith comes onto a talk show, part of his job is drawing interest for one of his movies.

During a recent appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Will Smith was candid with the audience about Bad Boys For Life as he raved about the sequel 17 years in the making. He admitted that when he says great things about a movie, it's not always true. But this time he's being 101% honest. Here’s what he said:

It’s fantastic. Y’all gonna love it. ‘Cause I say that a lot. I say that a lot. I’m gonna keep it real. Sometimes I say y’all gonna love it and y’all not gonna love it. Sometimes I’ve seen it and I know y’all not gonna love it, but it’s an expensive movie. But this time, this movie is out of here. It is so good, if you like the first two at all.

I mean, just imagine if every actor and filmmaker was brutally honest about every movie they were in. Press tours just would not be press tours! Part of an actor’s job is to let the audience decide how a project is received anyway, and if they were always dropping their outright takes on the film before people had a chance to find interest in it, the movie industry would be a bleaker place. Plus, what if an actor hated something the audience is going to love? That'd be a real shot to the foot!

So as Will Smith said on Jimmy Fallon’s show, he comes out a lot saying everyone’s going to love something. He’s a professional hype man for his work in a sense – but this time he means it. He’s really proud of Bad Boys For Life and he’s taken careful steps to make it good for nearly 20 years. Smith also got real by saying he’s had some fumbles with sequels in the past, even calling out one Men In Black sequel for being a disappointment.

From what we’ve heard about Bad Boys For Life, Will Smith’s words seem to check out. CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell found the sequel to be worth the wait in his review, and critics agree. The movie currently has a fresh 75% among professional reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes and has a 95% audience score.

Will Smith has been doing a ton of promotion this past year since he starred in Aladdin, Gemini Man and Spies in Disguise. The Disney remake became the highest-grossing movie of Smith’s career, while Ang Lee’s CGI-forward action flick was a flop.

Bad Boys For Life is now playing in preview screenings, with the wide rollout happening tomorrow, January 17.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.