Will Smith Interview For ‘Men In Black 3′
In ‘Men in Black 3,’ Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) are back… in time. J has seen some inexplicable things in his 15 years with the Men in Black, but nothing, not even aliens, perplexes him as much as his wry, reticent partner. But when K’s life and the fate of the planet are put at stake, Agent J will have to travel back in time to put things right. J discovers that there are secrets to the universe that K never told him — secrets that will reveal themselves as he teams up with the young Agent K (Josh Brolin) to save his partner, the agency, and the future of humankind. Alongside Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin, ‘Men In Black 3′ also stars Alice Eve, Jemaine Clement, Bill Hader, Michael Stuhlbarg, Nicole Scherzinger, and Emma Thompson. The film arrives in cinemas May 25th.
‘Men In Black 3′ marks your first trilogy, and it’s also the first time people have seen you on the big screen in a few years. What was it like coming back to a character you’ve helped grow and you’re accustomed to?
Will Smith: Yeah. Being able to create a movie in a series that is stand alone, it’s a difficult concept, you get caught a lot of times making a movie because it’s a sequel, right? Versus with this idea, which is probably why we waited so long, we finally found a concept and an idea that stood on its own merit outside of the series. And Josh Brolin coming in as the young Tommy Lee Jones, it was such an amazing twist and new look at the series. That was a reason why I felt really good about going back for a third dip (laughs). This is the first movie that I’ve completed a trilogy, of the films I’ve done. Playing a character three times, for me, that feels like home. It’s wonderful. I’d been off camera for about four years now, so for me, coming back to something that I know, that’s warm and like a family reunion. That felt very special.
J has grown through the series, I love having the opportunity to go back and show where it begin. The huge surprise at the end of ‘Men In Black 3,’ that makes it a sequel, but a prequel also. I’m just as hopeful and excited to learn how Agent J grows just like everyone else. And you can’t beat the black suit. It’s such powerful, iconic imagery. You put on the suit and the shades and it throws you into the mental space of the Men in Black. It’s like a childhood fantasy – you know things that the other people don’t know and you’ve got the most important job in the world. The seven-year-old boy in me comes running out when I put the black suit on (laughs).
One of the things audiences have always loved about the Men In Black series is the chemistry between yourself as Agent J and Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K. With ‘Men In Black 3’ you’ve got Josh Brolin also in that Agent K role, how was that to work with?
Will Smith: The chemistry between Tommy Lee Jones and I, it’s so distinct, and it is what the series has been based on. So what was scary about going into ‘Men In Black 3’ was half of the film is with Josh Brolin. But as a testament to Josh, I never felt any difference between the scenes between Tommy Lee Jones and myself, or Josh Brolin and myself. Josh studied and he found just whatever that essence is, in a way that when we hit the camera, there was no adjustment that I had to make. It was as if Tommy was there. Josh Brolin, he’s just a fantastic, he’s a wonderful image of the Young K, you know? You get a glimpse into what Young K would have been like through Josh’s eyes. You know, it’ll be fifteen minutes in the movie before people start paying attention again, just from being shocked by that recreation. Josh is so, so great.
The villains in the Men In Black series have always been dangerous, but at the same time there’s humour with them….
Will Smith: Oh yeah. What I always loved about the villains and the way Barry Sonnenfeld sees villains, is that they’re always scary, but you laugh – which is difficult to impossible! A lot of times when a villain is funny you lose the seriousness, you lose the jeopardy. By what Barry has has always been able to do, and Jemaine, he’s fantastic at finding that line where the humour is terrifying, you know? You’re like, “There’s something REALLY wrong with that dude, “ (laughs).
Ad-libbing with Josh Brolin and Tommy Lee Jones, how is that process on set? Also, Men In Black 3’ is your first film in 3D….
Will Smith: This is my first time making a movie in 3D, I was just happy my ears didn’t take over the whole frame (laughs). That was my big concern, that in 3D these things would be exponential! We do spend a lot of time before we get on the set coming up with things. When we’re working a scene we will ad-lib the three or four days before we’re actually in a scene. Coming up with things, trying thing, and we’ll have four or five different options of things we want to try. And if we get an inspiration on set we try to make it comfortable for one another to throw things in. The Men in Black movies are about the relationship between J and K. This movie brings that home – it’s about the power and origin of their relationship. What we had to do was elevate the story, and the only way to do that is to go deeper, deeper into the characters, deeper into the revelations that the movie would reveal.
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