Will Smith is known for various roles: in the Prince of Belair, one of the Men in Black, his role in The Pursuit of Happiness and his voice in Shark Tale among many many others. It’s not the first time we’ve seen him act in a film for a younger audience … but Aladdin, as he explains, was different for him.
“I guess I sort of hit a ceiling in my life. I had created the things I could create in my career, I was getting to the end of my wisdom with leading my family, and I got to a point where I had a bit of a collapse of my life and creations. So I took a couple of years off, essentially to study and journey spiritually.
“Aladdin was really my first sort of coming back in and seeing if my heart was even still in this kind of performing. And what I discovered is, everything starts with ‘What am I saying to the world? How does this piece contribute to the human family? Can I go around the world with the ideas that the movie represents and can I teach and preach these ideas in good conscience?’ Aladdin checks all of those boxes.”
So Aladdin ticks all the boxes when it comes to what he looks for in a movie … but what about the role of the genie? How does he relate to that?
“I love the idea of Genie, and one of the things that I related to in Genie is that the Genie has shackles, right? He has these spectacular powers, but he’s shackled. He is a prisoner of his spiritual fate.
“That’s sort of how I felt with Will Smith. I was sort of shackled by Will Smith. In these last couple of years, I’ve started finding my freedom. I’m getting free of Will Smith, and I’m getting more comfortable being me. So Aladdin was that first step back out.”
And with the genie looking so life-like in the trailer, we couldn’t help but wonder the process that went into creating the genie in Aladdin …
“A lot of people don’t even recognise this, but the Genie is 100% CGI. People look at it and think it’s my face blue, and it’s my body. The Genie is 100% CGI. I would just be on set, we’d run the scenes and everything, and I could improv on set because I knew it wouldn’t necessarily be in the movie. Then we’d do the first round of the CGI work and we could go again and work it. Then Guy watched the whole movie, and I had another chance to go back and we could play with lines and make adjustments because [the visual effects people] were going to create it anyway. So for me, there was tons of improv.”
And if that hasn’t convinced you to grab your tickets for Aladdin, maybe film’s trailer will!
We know we can’t wait to watch it!!
Aladdin is officially Now Showing at the Eden Cinemas. You can grab your tickets for this highly anticipated movie by following this link.
If you want to learn more about the movie and the full press conference with all of Will Smith’s comments, you can do so by following this link.