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  • My people.

  • My people are here.

  • Two lucky people.

  • You beat out hundreds of actors for this.

  • I mean, everybody wanted to be a part of this movie, and the two of you got, you must be thrilled with yourselves.

  • Yeah, well, very blessed.

  • We're very blessed to be here, and grateful.

  • And we hope people like the film.

  • I think they will.

  • I think it's going to do really well.

  • And were you fans of the original?

  • Oh, yeah.

  • Oh, I loved the original growing up.

  • I think also because it was a movie that me and my brother loved.

  • It has everything for everyone, adventure, drama, and, of course, Princess Jasmine was one of my favorites.

  • Yeah.

  • I mean, yeah, it's kind of surreal.

  • I don't think it's really sunk in yet.

  • So when you got the role of the genie, did you know this was happening?

  • Did you go after it?

  • The first thing, so they called, and they say hey, we want you to play the genie.

  • We're doing a live action version of Aladdin.

  • And I was like, nah, man.

  • No, Robin Williams like smashed that thing.

  • It's like, you have to be careful stepping into projects like that.

  • At first I looked at itEllen, have some water.

  • Oh, Ellen.

  • She is such a good host.

  • She's over in.

  • I'm looking at her, and she's like, she's looking and she's trying to listen to the story.

  • She's like...

  • That could have been edited out, now you've made it entertaining.

  • So it's great.

  • All right, so you said no, because Robin.

  • Robin, you know, he really smashed this role.

  • He revolutionized what you could do in these kinds of movies.

  • So I was listening and listening, and I was like, I just didn't think I wanted to touch it.

  • And then I started playing with the music, and the music is where I found my in to the genie.

  • "A Friend Like Me" was the first song that I messed with in the studio, and then I found that sort of hip hop flavor that was sort of-- what Robin did was he took his stand up persona, and used his stand up persona.

  • And I was like, oh, I could just use my sort of Fresh Prince persona and use that because the genie has been forward and back in time, so you can pull references from anywhere.

  • So I mirrored that, and the hip hop in was where I saw I could put my own signature, while maintaining the nostalgic value.

  • And you sing.

  • We know you as a rapper, but then you sing in this.

  • Yes, I sing.

  • - It's great. - It's the first time.

  • First time we're hearing you sing.

  • It's great.

  • So many talents.

  • Your brother was obsessed, right, with Will?

  • Yes, my brother is the biggest Will Smith fan.

  • And I feel like people say that.

  • They're like, oh I'm the biggest Will Smith fan.

  • My brother actually has, or had, no he still has it, a life size cardboard cut out of Will Smith before he got this role in his room.

  • And I would walk past, and be Woa, because I just like see this lifestyle cardboard cut out.

  • Yeah, and it's the first time that I've ever gotten an international restraining order.

  • So on four continents he has to stay 50 yards away from me.

  • - Always a first. - It's true. - It's true.

  • And you all shot in Jordan in the desert?

  • Yeah.

  • How was that?

  • That was amazing.

  • We got to the desert, and there was champagne flowing, and they were giving us these beautiful scarves and dancers.

  • And we found out, Will threw this huge party in the desert for us when we got there.

  • So it was, it was amazing.

  • And then we went back for press.

  • Yeah it's really important to me, I've done a lot of these movies and as I'm getting older, it's starting to be more and more important to me that the ideas and the messaging of the piece be a contribution to the human family.

  • I just cannot wait till all of your daughters get to see the Princess Jasmine that the Naomi created.

  • Very cool.

My people.

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B1 US TheEllenShow genie persona robin smith fresh prince

Will Smith Used His 'Fresh Prince' Persona as Inspiration for Genie in 'Aladdin'

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    jasmine posted on 2019/06/04
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