Will Smith Realized ‘I’m Not Better Than Tom Cruise’ When Making ‘Bad Boys For Life’

Will Smith came to a revelation about Tom Cruise when he was filming Bad Boys For Life in 2019. The 52-year-old actor went into the movie believing that he would do all of his stunts without a stunt double. However, he quickly realized that he is “not better than Tom Cruise.”

Will Smith and Tom Cruise
Will Smith and Tom Cruise | Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Will Smith wanted to channel Tom Cruise’s stunts in ‘Mission Impossible’

Before Smith began filming Bad Boys For Life, Cruise’s latest Mission Impossible film came out: MI: Fallout. According to Vox, the actor, who was 55 years old at the time, performed all of the death-defying stunts. One of the feats resulted in two broken ankle bones and a three-month shooting delay, but that didn’t stop Cruise from performing every stunt after he recovered. 

Since the first Mission: Impossible film in 1996, each subsequent movie goes to more extraordinary lengths to top the previous one’s action. In the first four of the action spy films, Cruise performed the majority of his stunts, including suspending from a ceiling and climbing up a cliff’s side. According to Men’s Journal, the series went on he jumped off of a skyscraper and then hung off one of the world’s tallest buildings, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. 

Will Smith and Tom Cruise | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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However, when Cruise shot the fifth film, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, he insisted on performing every stunt that his character Ethan Hunt was in. In the sixth film, he did it again when he was several years older than Smith. At 51, he thought he could easily be like Cruise and do all of his stunts for Bad Boys For Life.

Smith realized he could not perform his stunts

When Smith was promoting Bad Boys For Life, he visited The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The host previewed the movie and alluded to the mid-life crisis that Smith’s character, Mike Lowery, is going through in the film. Fallon wanted to know if the actor feels old.

“I’m trying to hang on,” Smith said. “There were a couple of the action sequences that I was like ‘ooh.'”

Then he admitted that the stunts on the set did not happen as he planned. 

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“I started [filming the movie], and I told myself that I was doing all of my stunts,” Smith told Fallon. “Tom Cruise was just hanging on the side of an airplane at 50. I was like, ‘Man, I am better than Tom Cruise.’ I did like two stunts, and I was like ‘I’m not better than Tom Cruise.'”

After that, Smith let the stunt doubles come to fill in for him during the film’s death-defying moments. So, in that way, the actor does admit he is feeling old.

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