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Will Smith: From Goofy To Sexy

Afghan police officers, right, talk with U.S. Army soldiers after a suicide bomb detonated near Camp Phoenix, a logistics support base for U.S. forces just outside Kabul, Afgnaistan, Nov. 13, 2009.
AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills
In 1995, Will Smith was starring in the television sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" when director Michael Bay teamed him up with comedian Martin Lawrence for his first action film, "Bad Boys."

It took eight years for them to re-team for "Bad Boys II," but Smith told The Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler that it was worth the wait.

"It really was sort of a difficult process getting a script and a story that everyone agreed with, and then getting everyone's schedules to work together," he said. "The process was difficult. We really wanted it to be right."

"Bad Boys" was Smith and Lawrence's first major hit movie.

"Michael [Bay] always makes it very clear that he made Martin and I film stars," laughed Smith.

The Academy Award-nominated actor says Bay, the director, jokes that before "Bad Boys" people only laughed at the television stars. Now, after giving them guns and taking their shirts off, people want to have sex with them.

"It was pretty doggone close to true," said Smith. "That one scene in the first movie, when I was running with my shirt open …"

"I was going to mention that scene," The Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler said, playfully interrupting him. "Because, you know, I mean, I'm married. I'm not dead. But I was like, 'Hey, this guy's hot.'"

Smith is modest about being labeled a sex symbol.

"I've always been the goofy kid," he said. "Because, I was six feet tall in eighth grade, so I'm a little goofy.

"I sat in the back of a movie theater at the premiere of "Bad Boys," and the scene comes and I'm running in slow motion with my shirt. And, I heard this woman, like two rows up, just go, 'Mmm!' I was like, 'Hey!' I just never had gotten that reaction before."

Smith says he had always used his humor to approach girls, but now he has pecs, too.

"That's a deadly combination," he laughed.

To add to the sex appeal on "Bad Boys II," Smith and Lawrence trained with technical narcotics teams in Southern Florida to learn how to handle guns properly. But, he said, the image is pure testosterone fantasy.

"And that's the actually beauty of this film," Smith said. "It's … really raw animal nature of what it means to be a man. And, [it's] the little boy fantasies that you carry into your manhood. Fast cars and women and it's Miami and it's hot; and tight T-shirt and guns."

The 1995 release of "Bad Boys" was represented a bold move by a major movie studio in headlining two black actors. Smith said the collaboration is still a big deal.

"I mean, who are the other two [black movie partners]," Smith laughed. "It's still me and Martin."

Smith said the "Bad Boys" movies have crossover appeal. And, more studios will see the financial success in similar movie partnerships.

"Green is much more important than black or white," he said of Hollywood.

Tune in Thursday for more of co-anchor Rene Syler's conversation with Will Smith, where he'll talk about his relationships with co-star Martin Lawrence and his wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith.