Will Smith Talks Starring Opposite Himself in 'Gemini Man' on 'Late Show'

Will Smith - Colbert - H 2019


Ahead of the Gemini Man release date, Will Smith stopped by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Tuesday to chat with host Stephen Colbert about the challenges of starring opposite himself: He plays the role of a veteran assassin who faces off against his younger clone. 

"What he did with this film is really spectacular," Smith said of director Ang Lee. "He's trying to create a new reason for people to go to movie theaters." 

The actor added that his latest project should be viewed in 3D, joking, "It's not your daddy's 3D." 

As for fighting against his younger self in the film, Smith noted what the audience will see is "the first-ever 100 percent digital human," adding that "it isn't de-aging. It's not me playing the character. … It's a 100 percent digital character."

The fully-CG younger clone of Smith's character was achieved by the team at Peter Jackson's Weta Digital, using performance capture and the most advanced digital techniques.

Early reviews of the movie indicated a lukewarm reaction from critics. The Hollywood Reporter's Stephen Dalton argued that the film is a "significant leap forward for visual effects but a backward step for gripping, sophisticated thrillers."

To accurately portray a younger version of Smith, Lee looked back at the actor's youthful projects, such as Six Degrees of Separation and Men in Black. However, one of Smith's most iconic roles wasn't at the top of Lee's list to pull from. 

"For Fresh Prince, he's looking at my character and says, 'I don't want any of that in my movie,'" Smith joked. 

When asked by the late night host if there's some advice he'd like to give to his younger self, Smith shared he'd rather turn that scenario around.

"I feel like that younger version of me, there's a certain naivety to youth that is powerful. When you don't know something, you're aggressive," Smith said. "I would ask my young self for advice. … For the last two years, I've been trying to recapture that youthful fearlessness."

Such fearlessness includes the actor bungee-jumping out of a helicopter to celebrate his 50th birthday, an act that Smith says "was probably the scariest thing I've done in 25 years."

The actor also discussed recently celebrating the opening of Tyler Perry's new studio in Atlanta, Georgia.

"It was really a spectacular evening," Smith said of the gala. As for learning that a soundstage was dedicated to him, he added, "I was happy with mine … then I saw Oprah's."

Smith joked that the media mogul has been famous for so long that whomever is around her often ends up becoming her personal assistant. "You have to help Oprah," Smith said. "I've seen Barack get Oprah something to eat." 

Gemini Man, which premiered in Los Angeles on Sunday, hits theaters on Oct. 11.