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Will Smith Finds “Honest Moments” With Ang Lee And “Bad Acting” On ‘Gemini Man’

The high frame rates (120fps) and Will Smith playing two versions of himself are the selling points for Gemini Man, but since the film is directed by Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, The Life of Pi), one can expect a deeper look beyond the seductive sheen.

Will Smith as “Junior” in Gemini Man from Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

Playing two roles in a high concept action thriller must have been a full day at the office for Will Smith, but during the press conference Smith discussed one of the most challenging aspects of Gemini Man centered on his acting. How would Smith, one of cinema’s most successful A-list stars, be able to play a younger and more naive version of himself?

Ang Lee watched some of Smith’s earlier performances (Six Degrees of Separation, Bad Boys, Independence Day) and gave him pointers on how to tackle the role of Junior.

“Before you learn how to act, there is a powerful thing you have from not knowing,” said Smith. “And it’s really difficult to recapture that not knowing. We found these really honest moments – I would say that was the most difficult part. It almost felt like learning how to do some bad acting. Like go back to bad acting because there is an honesty before you actually learn where the light is and you learn how to stand and you learn what makes people clap for movie stars in the theater. Letting go of all of that stuff was really difficult.”

Will Smith in Gemini Man from Paramount Pictures, Skydance and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

Take a listen to the full audio version of Smith’s answer, and it’s definitely worth a listen just to hear Smith impersonate Ang Lee (which drew laughter from the media in attendance).

Gemini Man, co-starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Clive Owen, opens nationwide October 11.

Greg Srisavasdi
I've been a movie reviewer/interview since 1991 (as a UCLA Daily Bruin scribe), worked at Westwood One, Deepest Dream owner, co-editor of Hollywood Outbreak, podcast co-host of "CinemAddicts" and "Matt and Greg Used To Interview Movie Stars." I can be reached at for inquiries or whatever the case may be!

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