It was a merry time indeed leading up to Christmas Day as In The Know got to spend the holiday in Tokyo, Japan to hang out with Hollywood superstar Will Smith himself. It was for the biggest Netflix movie to date, “Bright,” with a budget amounting to more than a hundred million dollars, according to Will.
The multi-genre actor was easily put on the top of our friendliest superstar list as he managed to charm the uber quiet Japanese press and entertain our quirks on the red carpet while calling him “Papa Will.” He even showed us how he’s getting more techie by the day since he just joined Instagram two weeks ago.
Bright, which came on December 22, is set in an alternate present-day Los Angeles and is a sci-fi action-thriller directed by David Ayer (“Suicide Squad,” “End of Watch,” writer of “Training Day”). It follows two cops of very different backgrounds—Ward, a human played by Will, and Jakoby, an orc played by Joel Edgerton—who embark on a routine patrol night that will ultimately alter the future as their world knows it.
Battling both their own personal differences as well as an onslaught of enemies, they must work together to protect a thought-to-be-forgotten relic, which in the wrong hands could destroy everything.
The storyline may be simple but it showcases the issue on racism through dark humorous lines and the hierarchy of the characters.
“I also learned a lot while doing this because the elves are at the top of society, us humans are at the middle and the orcs are looked down upon. This movie also teaches us to accept people from all walks of life and not judge,” Will shared.
Joel, who went through three to four hours of makeup each taping day, also felt like he was looked down upon, “whenever I was wearing the character I could feel people pity me and I would remind them that, hey, I am alright!”
The bad-ass villain elf Leilah played by Swedish Noomi Rapace also told us that her close-to-perfect character was hard to achieve but very empowering.
“I had to train mixed martial arts and flow like water in the fight scenes and learn a new language but it was major and to be given opportunities to play these roles in Hollywood nowadays is the reason I stay and do this,” she shared.
With the ever-growing issue of Netflix streaming versus cinema viewing, Will shared his insights on the matter.
“I am curious if this film streaming on television could capture the emotion of the viewer and give the same experience as the one on cinema. But Netflix is very good for us actors and producers since studios would not be doing or would not give a budget for this kind of storyline and production,” he explained.
On a lighter note, during our numerous chats with him from the red carpet to the sit down, Will shared that he vacationed in the Philippines already.
“Yes, it was like a year and a half ago. Jeff had a gig and we crossed paths so when I knew he was going I went with him for three days and just relaxed. But you know I would love to promote a film in the Philippines one day,” he told In The Know.
For those of you who do not know Jeff, he was Will’s rap partner in West Philadelphia back in the ‘80s while they were starting out. He said he went incognito for security reasons, which of course, we totally understand.
As for Ayers, he was based in Subic for sometime while serving in the US Navy.
“I remember how happy the people were and I ate a lot of pansit!” he reminisced with a chuckle.
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Until next week! Ta-ta!