Belfast Telegraph

Will Smith reflects on ageing process as he celebrates 51st birthday

The Hollywood star plays a younger version of himself in his new film.

Will Smith faces off against a younger version of himself in his new film (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)
Will Smith faces off against a younger version of himself in his new film (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

By Laura Harding, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent, in Budapest

Will Smith has said he is “peaceful” and “accepting of life” but feels his age in his back and his knees as he reflected on the process of getting older on his 51st birthday.

The Hollywood star celebrated the big day with a fan event in Budapest ahead of the release of his new film Gemini Man.

The movie sees him play a retiring hitman who is forced to do battle with a clone of himself as a younger man.

He told the PA news agency: “Life is just delicious right now.

“It’s interesting, other than my back and my knees, this is the best time of my life.

“It’s not even happier, it’s less and more. I’m peaceful.

“I’ve never been more accepting of life, whichever direction it goes, it’s all good, and I’m just having a beautiful time living and exploring and there is not a single day I would go backwards to.

“Today is the best day of my life.”

Directed by Oscar winner Ang Lee, the film features an entirely digitally rendered version of a younger Smith, based on his appearance in the 1995 film Bad Boys.

He said: “It was really weird the first time that I saw the two images together. It’s hard for people to comprehend this but it’s not my face made younger, it’s a completely 100% digital human, that character.

“There is no part of me in the younger character, it’s the artists recreating a digital character, so I didn’t get to see any of it.

“It wasn’t until eight months after we shot and essentially I am voicing a digital character, it’s not that different from animation, where you give your voice and then they create the character.”

He added that he channelled “Bad Boys and a little bit of Fresh Prince” to create his younger role but found it a challenge to revert to his youthful mindset.

He said: “There was a really wild recklessness of my younger self, where there is a power to naivety, there is a power to not knowing.

“There is a fearlessness and a foolishness that is wonderful in some of those younger roles, some of the choices I was making, so it was actually really hard to recreate innocence because once you know something it’s hard to un-know it, but I did have a really good time going back and finding that.”

Smith will continue his birthday celebrations with a special concert alongside DJ Jazzy Jeff at St Stephen’s Basilica.

Gemini Man is released in UK cinemas on October 10.

PA

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