Fresh off his Coachella appearance with son Jaden, Will Smith, hit up “Good Morning America” on Monday to dish about his role of Genie in Disney’s live action remake of “Aladdin,” a character previously played by the late Robin Williams in the 1992 animated classic.
“This one came out of nowhere,” Smith said. “I was actually considering three or four other movies and this came on a Friday night and I had to make a decision on the Monday. That was a really tough weekend because Robin Williams, like, smashed this thing so hard and when you take a role like this, you want to find out whether there’s some meat left on the bone. Like, what would you do differently, you know? And I watched the original and Robin just destroyed that thing.”
Scroll up and hear Will tell it via the clip above.
Smith admitted to the GMA team that taking on the Genie role was “so intimidating.”
“It was so intimidating,” he said. “The one thing that I latched onto was the idea that it was going to be live-action. I knew that left a little bit of room. And then what I saw that he did was he revolutionized what you could do in these types of films. He really changed using modern references and things like that. So, for me, the hip-hop angle was the angle that I saw that would be my in.”
Taking a page out of Robin’s playbook allowed Smith to bring a “new flavor” to the character while also paying homage to Williams, who committed suicide in 2014 at his home in California. He was 63.
“Y’all know I’ve made some good movies and I’ve made some questionable ones,” Smith added. “I’ve made some questionable ones in the past. I’m man enough to stand up to that. But this one, this is such a beautiful, beautiful movie.”
Directed by Guy Ritchie, “Aladdin” opens May 24.
In related news, last week, Smith gave fans a preview of a line of throwback “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” merch that was only available for purchase online for a 72 hours, Complex reported. The collection included keychains, hats, notebooks, and numerous multi-packs of shirts.
A message on shop.willsmith.com says: “Dang! Our first sale is over but we’re just getting started.” Visitors are then asked to sign up to be notified when the next collection drops.