What Will Smith won’t do on camera
He's a rapping, dancing, acting triple threat who is one of the world's most bankable stars, but there is one thing Will Smith won't be doing on camera.
"Sports things," the 51-year-old Philadelphia-born superstar told news.com.au while sitting in front of Paris' Eiffel Tower promoting his latest movie, Bad Boys for Life.
While co-star Martin Lawrence, 54, admitted he "can't sing", the former Fresh Prince said "if I had to play basketball on camera that would be a real serious mess".
"I went out there the other day. I have a 27-year-old son and it just start to get to that point where I'm not the dominant basketball player in the family anymore," he laughed.
"You got your son posting you up?" Lawrence joked. "Yeah!" Smith said. "The sport stuff on camera is probably getting into the past for me."
The charismatic stars of the Bad Boys franchise are sitting in front of the Parisian landmark on a cold January day with heaters as "close to the buttocks" as they will get without melting their chairs.
"I want it to smell like toasted hamburger buns up in here!" Smith clowned to the crew, acting every inch the big-brother style joker he so often embodies on screen.
The much-loved duo have reunited for Bad Boys for Life - the long-awaited third movie in the series that first catapulted them to stardom 25 years ago as rogue detectives taking down Miami's drug lords with their off-book tactics.
This time around, Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) is enjoying his new life as a suburban "pop pop" with a penchant for telenovelas and spa days, while Mike Lowrey (Smith) is an ageing playboy with plenty of money but little emotional fulfilment in his life.
The growing gulf between the two is summed up by Marcus: "All our life we've been bad boys, now it's time to be good men."
"Who in the hell wants to sing that song?" Mike shoots back before launching into the familiar refrain: "Good man, good man, whatcha gonna do?"
So 25 years on from their first outing as hot-shot detectives, are the real life superstars more bad boys or good men?
"Bad knees. It should have been bad knees, slow running," Smith joked before Lawrence cuts in. "We good men. We want to do the right things."
"That's what was really great going into this third instalment of the series, that was one of the main concerns," Smith explained. "How do you not just try to make the same movie all over again?
"And I just think we came up with that bad boys versus good men concept that plays comedically and dramatically through the film in a really cool way."
Relatively unknown Belgian duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Black) replace Michael Bay, who directed the first two movies, in the third incarnation. The Moroccan-born filmmakers have created a colour-saturated and action-packed movie that ricochets between Miami and Mexico City.
It taps the famous chemistry of the stars and includes an epically brutal female villain infused with supernatural talents played by Mexican actor Kate del Castillo.
Super producer Jerry Bruckheimer remains on-board with Vanessa Hudgens, DJ Khaled and Jacob Scipio joining the young cast where Marcus and Burnett find themselves the old dogs learning some tricks from the tech-savvy new crew.
After a quarter of a century working together, Smith and Lawrence agreed they have cracked the secret to the perfect work partnership.
"It's enjoying the partner you're working with and much respect. Much respect," Lawrence said.
Smith agreed: "That's real. There's a thing with Martin and I, it's like we don't overlap each other's lanes right. It's like we both have our separate lanes that we just fill beautifully together.
"We go back and forth …. the yin and the yang, like the straight man and the funny guy and we'll switch in scenes. Who's playing straight who's doing the comedy? There's just an innate comprehension we have or when is when and which is which. It's just a hard dynamic to match."
Bruckheimer - once described as the "man with the golden gut" - has behind box office hits from Top Gun to Pirates of the Caribbean and Armageddon.
He recalled how in 1995 he tried several combinations for the original film before meeting the young star of the Fresh Prince.
"We had an idea that we loved, and we had to figure out who could we cast in it. An agent called me and said, 'You really should meet this guy, Will Smith'. He was on Fresh Prince at the time and I think he had done one small movie," Bruckheimer said.
"He came into my office and this guy's tall, he's handsome, he's funny, he's got an infectious personality, and I said, 'He's the guy. I really want to make it with him'. And then Martin had a TV show that was doing quite well, and so we put the two of them together."
The chemistry in the odd-couple partnership catapulted the pair to stardom, with Smith going on to star in Independence Day and Men in Black shortly afterwards before Ali, The Pursuit of Happyness and Aladdin. Next up, he is due to play the father of Venus and Serena Williams in a new biopic, King Richard. Lawrence went on to star in the Big Momma's House movies and A Thin Line Between Love and Hate.
As for their real-life detective skills, the pair maintain they would definitely be "good cops" despite making "horrific police officers".
"We'd be breaking rules, breaking all the rules, but we'd still be good cops," Lawrence joked, before Smith admitted there may be a little bit of using their powers for personal gain involved.
"You'd probably got to mix a little bit of that. That don't make you bad" he said.
Bad Boys is in Australian cinemas from January 16.