EXCLUSIVE: Will Smith Talks to Ahlan! in Dubai
Will Smith is a man who needs no introduction. From The Fresh Prince to one of the world's biggest superstars, you'll be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't know his work. And the actor is only going from strength to strength, with his latest movie, Suicide Squad, smashing records in its opening weekend. And as he touched down in Dubai yesterday as part of his promotional tour for new movie Suicide Squad – which is on track to be Will's highest-grossing movie to date – we had the chance to sit down with the legend one-one-one, ahead of his press conference at Theatre by Rhodes at Vox Cinemas. And yes, he's just as charming and hilarious as you'd imagine...
Hi Will, welcome back to Dubai! How’s it going?
It’s fantastic, thanks! All is lovely.
So, we’ve heard Suicide Squad is set to be the biggest movie of the summer, and it’s already broken all of your opening weekend records – congrats! What can we expect from the film, and what’s your favourite part?
Suicide Squad is a kind of a mash-up. Director David Ayer is a really rugged, gritty writer and director, so when I heard that he was going to make a DC comic movie, I thought that was a really interesting collision of genres and styles. That’s what appealed to me – I think the character work that he forced us to do in this movie is well above and beyond what you would normally see in this type of film.
How was it having Margot Robbie teach you to swim?
Here’s the thing – Margot is from Australia, so she’s spent most of her life in the water. I’m from the inner city of Philadelphia, right, so I spent most of my time in the concrete jungle. I didn’t have to learn how to swim in Philly! My kids know how to swim though, so I always expect they’ll save me if they need to. They’ve got me…
If you could come back as one superhero in your next life, who would it be?
I would always say Superman, because there’s nothing that beats flying. As a human being, to be able to fly, that’s the best you can hope for. But also maybe Nelson Mandela – I really like that kind of superhero. To have the super power of peace.
Is there any particular movie role you’d like to play that you haven’t got round to yet?
There are two movies from history that I wish I could have played a part in. The first is Notorious by Alfred Hitchcock. It wasn’t one of his most famous, but it’s ridiculous! The storyline is crazy, so definitely that role. And my favourite movie ever is The Bridge on the River Kwai – it just really caught me at the perfect time. It’s about the tragedy of masculinity – of men clinging to what it means to be a man, versus paying attention to what’s actually happening in front of you. Situations that demand something different.
And co-stars? Who would you love to work with?
Halle Berry. Definitely. But I think she’s been avoiding me!
When it comes to your music, who would you most like to lay down some tracks with?
I was just in Sweden with Joel Kinnaman a few weeks ago, and I spent some time in the studio with the members of the Swedish House Mafia. We messed around with a couple of songs and that was fun, so I’m looking forward to seeing what comes out of it, and to getting back there to finish up. I’ve been recording for a while now, I just don’t love anything yet.
What was the last thing that really made you laugh?
On Suicide Squad, there are things that really made me laugh every day. Most of the time it’s Jai Courtney. He doesn’t feel bound to the necessity to wear clothes, you see! I think one of the biggest laughs I had recently was when I opened my trailer door, and I saw Jai Courtney running top speed, naked, chasing David Ayer through the studio lot. I was like, ‘Welcome to the Suicide Squad!’
And the last thing that made you really angry?
I don’t get really angry a lot, but generally, when I do, it’s because of the paparazzi. They can really wear me out. It’s usually just with Willow, though – they’re generally more aggressive with girls than they are with boys. That’s what I love about Dubai – no paps, it’s fantastic.
And the last thing that made you cry?
Oh no, I don’t cry – I don’t play that. Haha, no I’m joking. OK, so it wasn’t like crying, crying – I just got a little teary, and because I bent forward, a tear fell down. But Willow and I had our first fight recently. She’s a teenage girl and she just got really angry. She told me that she’d never been more disappointed with me in her life. That hurt!
Ouch! What had you done?
She’d been reading this book about femininity and I made a joke that she didn’t think was funny. Then she actually told me the pre-requisite to a joke is that is needs to be funny!
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
I would create a machine through which people could actually live as other people for a day. One that would allow you to experience thoroughly what another person thinks and feels.
And who would you like to be for one day?
I’d like to be my wife, so I can really feel and understand her. I think most of the problems that the world has are based on a lack of understanding of other peoples’ suffering. I think if you could really feel what other people are going through, humanity would evolve in an instant.
Footage courtesy of British Airways.