Will Smith causes a stir in Dubai
We’re not sure if you heard, things were kept very hush-hush, but world-famous actor, producer, musician, philanthropist, and all-around nice guy Will Smith was in Dubai yesterday to promote his latest blockbuster Suicide Squad. No, really. Dubai. With the red carpet and everything. You’d have thought there would have been some sort of 24/7 media coverage about it or something. Strange.
In celebration of the Fresh Prince’s arrival, Esquire had the pleasure of attending a Q&A session with the man hosted (bizarrely) by two uniformed pilots from British Airways. So, it was just your typical Sunday then, meeting the man responsible for saving the planet more times than we count (though if our calculations are correct it should work out to roughly eight times).
The four-time Grammy winner spoke out about his role in the new DC movie, his travel experiences, and what a terrible idea Wild Wild West was.
The Hollywood icon, whose latest film has opened to admittedly disappointing mixed reviews, caused quite a ruckus in the Noir Lounge at Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates as his mere presence was enough to send men and women swooning left, right, and centre.
During Q&A Smith talked about his intense preparation for getting into the role of such a psychotic character. Talking about his character in the movie, Smith noted that it was refreshing for him to play a villain, with the role of Deadshot being a novel experience for him as he didn’t feel that he was “bound by morality”. This was also the first time Will ever had to study serial killers to get into the mind-set of a character. Though having seen the abomination that is Shark Tale we’re not wholly convinced.
We’re surprised Smith’s family were willing to greenlight such a project, as talking about his rejection of the lead role in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, Smith remarked that his main deterrent to accepting the role was his daughter Willow’s protestation that preparing for such an intense character would make him “crazy for too long”.
Smith spoke about how he puts a lot of thought into being careful in what work he brings home, so it’s safe to say he must have done a fair bit of deliberation with his family before accepting the role of a cold-blooded assassin. That’s not to say the acting experience wasn’t a positive one, as Smith was keen to emphasize the familial atmosphere amongst the cast, despite the almost comical age gap between him and some of his younger co-stars like 23-year old model-cum-actress (get your mind out of the gutter) Cara Delevigne.
When asked which of his fellow Suicide Squad members he would most like to fly with, Smith eventually decided upon Jai Courtney as his perfect cabin buddy– though we found the reasoning behind his choice to be a little dubious.
“Captain Boomerang, he would be the best travelling buddy as he is unbound by the necessity to wear clothes. He certainly knows how to have fun,” Smith commented. Now, we’re not bashing Jai Courtney or anything (though Terminator Genisys was bloody awful), but we can’t say that we wouldn’t have found ourselves slightly more inclined to travel with the lovely Margot Robbie.
Robbie, who has previously acted alongside Will in 2015’s Focus, plays the Joker’s manic muse Harley Quinn in the film, and we certainly wouldn’t be complaining if she found herself unbound by the necessity to wear clothes.
Smith, who has travelled extensively to promote his movies over the years lists his favourite cities in the entire world as “Miami and Dubai”, but added that there are still destinations on his bucket list that he would like to visit: “I would like to go to the Maldives and I haven’t done a lot in Indonesia. I would like to travel through there. Those are the top ones on my list.”
As part of the film’s promotion, British Airways is offering fans of Suicide Squad a chance to explore some of the fantastic locations that the movie was filmed, even giving customers a chance to see the homes of Hollywood’s stars like Smith (note ‘see’ and not ‘camp outside all day and night’. The latter is stalking and it’s illegal), with flights to Toronto and Los Angeles for as little as AED 3030 and AED 3830.
When asked about his near-perfect box-office, Smith was more than happy to admit that he was far from perfect as he, in his own words, “put out Wild Wild West” – the box-office bomb that he famously made instead of The Matrix.
Smith also spoke out regarding the mixed reviews that Suicide Squad has been receiving in the press, saying: “My mind is beyond box-office success. For so long in my career I was consumed by being number one, but I think that thinking that way really taints your artistic integrity. A good friend of mine once told me, and this advice has stuck with me, that I've earned the right to fail".
Though we wouldn’t call Suicide Squad an out-and-out failure, it’s merely a mixed-bag of a film that doesn’t really know what it wants to be, we can agree that Smith has earned the right to do whatever he damn well pleases after such a long and successful career. And judging by Suicide Squad's smashing of the August box office record with an impressive opening weekend of over AED 981 million, the Fresh Prince’s reign doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon.