Will Smith and Martin Lawrence Talk Bad Boys 3 Stunts and How Their Partnership Started

It’s been 16 years since “Bad Boys II” and a quarter of a century since Will Smith and Martin Lawrence first introduced audiences to one of the most entertaining buddy cop action comedy franchises of all time, and Ellen DeGeneres had the embarrassing pic to prove it.

It’s crazy to look back at the twenty-something twosome in a still from the original film because they’re both so skinny and young and just aren’t really looking intimidating at all. “No muscle definition!” Will laughed, while Martin joked he looked like he weighed less than 100 pounds back then.

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But it was instant film magic and chemistry, which is something Martin has to credit his sister for. According to the comedian, she suggested he bring Will Smith on board for the first “Bad Boys” film, prompting Martin (who was enjoying the success of his own titular show) to set up a dinner meet-and-greet at his house to feel out the former rapper and “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star.

“And, you know, five minutes after talking to Will, he got the job,” Martin said of that fateful night. “I mean, it was like one of the best things I’ve done and now Will’s like the franchise, you can’t do it without him.”

And yet, that’s one of Martin’s biggest fears as Will continues to explore his post-50 bucket list of dangerous and crazy things to do like swimming with sharks and jumping out of airplanes.

When asked if he had a similar list, Martin was very adamant. “No, I want to make it to my 60s,” he said.

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“Martin called me after I did the shark thing and was like, ‘Hey man, you alright?’” Will shared. “I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m good.’ He’s like, ‘You know, I want us to get to this ‘Bad Boys’ thing.’”

“He’s jumping out of planes, I don’t know if we gonna make it,” Martin laughed.

And Will apparently brought that daredevil side with him to set, too, when it came to the film’s action sequences. There are stunt men on set, but Will said he really wanted to do a lot of that work himself.

“The first couple of weeks I was like, ‘No man, let’s do it. You jump off of there and you roll over, I got that,'” he said. “I probably got four days into shooting and I was like, ‘Yeah, we gonna let the young boy do those.’”

Martin was much more practical and level-headed about the whole thing. “I leave it to the stuntmen,” he said plainly. “That’s what they get paid for.”

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That practical down-to-earth mentality served him well when Ellen tasked them with playing a game of “5 Second Rule.” Will was wildly all over the place trying to come up with answers while Martin quickly rattled off solid answers to every single question.

And then Ellen put them to the ultimate test, asking first Will and then Martin to name the other’s three children. These are men who’ve known each other for more than 25 years, and yet only one of them could do it. We’ll give you zero guesses on this one, because it should be painfully obvious by now.

You can watch him squirm and call Ellen out for that one in the hilariously uncomfortable video below, and then catch Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in “Bad Boys for Life,” hitting theaters January 17, 2020:

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