Why Oscar Winner Will Smith Was Fearful to Play Genie and How Hip Hop Helped Him in ‘Aladdin’

Why Oscar Winner Will Smith Was Fearful to Play Genie and How Hip Hop Helped Him in ‘Aladdin’

Not playing the greatest boxer of all time, but playing the madly intriguing blue genie in Aladdin made Will Smith fearful. The actor has since the 90s made not one but two prestigious award-winning careers in the showbiz industry. He is both a Grammy Music award-winning rapper and an Oscar-winning actor. While the latter title did not age well, with three decades in the acting industry, Smith has played a rich variety of characters that would definitely put the rainbow to shame.

A boxing champion, a spy, a hard-working father, and a crazy marksman, Smith’s filmography could very well be used to teach children different kinds of occupations. However, as brilliant as an actor as he is, he had never done a Disney movie until Aladdin in 2019.

So the stakes were high for Smith, not only because this was a live remake of one of the best Disney movies. But also because Robin Williams left the shoes too big to fit in. This is where Will Smith put his hip-hop days to use. And the result was a $1 Billion dollar box office breakthrough.

How did hip-hop help Will Smith play the role of Genie?

The gorgeous and empathetic Disney princess, a petty thief turned fake prince, and a power-hungry minister, are all intriguing aspects of Disney’s Aladdin. But nothing beats the effortlessly hilarious Genie. While the movie is based on Aladdin, we are sure no one would mind if the title is changed to something more centered around Genie. Definitely not after Will Smith’s heart-stealing performance. Although the result was great, the actor admitted at a Log Angeles press conference that he was ”terrified.’

What Robin Williams did with this character- he just didn’t leave a lot of room to add to the Genie,” said Smith. It was when they started recording Friend Like Me in the studio that the Fresh Prince was reminded of his hip-hop days.

ALSO READ: Will Smith Oscar Slap-Gate Incident Inspires a Controversial Halloween Costume

Experimenting with the 94/96 BPM range, in particular, is what made the Oscar-winning actor feel at home with his character. ”The Genie was really born in my mind from the music,” Smith said as reported by Rachel Paige. You can watch this magical Will Smith performance on Disney+.

Did you like his performance in Aladdin? Let us know in the comments below.

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