- Will Smith sent “Bad Boys” director Michael Bay a copy of his self-titled memoir with a note inside.
- “OK, Michael. You were right, I was wrong!” Smith wrote, referring to a dispute they had on the set.
- It was Bay’s idea for Smith’s character to run shirtless in a pivotal chase scene in “Bad Boys.”
“Bad Boys” director Michael Bay revealed that Will Smith sent him a personalized note admitting that the filmmaker was right in his insistence on the actor exposing his toned chest during one of the 1995 movie’s action scenes.
“It’s nice getting gifts! Thank you Will,” Bay captioned a video shared on his Instagram on Thursday.
Bay began his video by telling fans that Smith gave him a present for Christmas, a personalized copy of his self-titled memoir that was released in November 2021.
The director opened the book to reveal a note that Smith wrote on the title page, which read, “OK, Michael. You were right, I was wrong!” and included the actor’s signature.
“It looks like an apology for something,” Bay said in the video. “I think it’s when I made him run with a shirt on, half-open, and made him a movie star. I think that’s what it is. But I’m gonna read the book. Thank you, Will.”
In chapter 13 of his candid memoir, Smith recalled him and Bay getting into “one of our biggest disputes” while on the set of “Bad Boys.”
The “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” alum said that the buddy-cop movie marked the first time he ever worked out and had muscles. Regarding the famous scene in “Bad Boys” when his character, Mike Lowery chases a car on foot, Smith said that Bay demanded that he “do the scene with no shirt.”
Smith said he told the director that he thought it would appear “corny” and unnatural to be shirtless in the scene.
But Bay said that, because the film was set in Miami and Smith was playing a “badass cop,” it wouldn’t seem abnormal.
“I wasn’t yet secure with my new body,” Smith recalled in his memoir. “The thought of standing around all day with no shirt on intimidated me.”
According to the actor, Bay was persistent and said, “No shirt, dude! Just take it off. Trust me and do what I say. I’m trying to make you a superhero!”
The two made a comprise in which Smith’s character ran with an unbuttoned shirt.
“I felt like I wasn’t completely naked and vulnerable, and Michael knew that the shirt would billow like a cape when I ran.” Smith wrote, adding that after filming the scene, the director was thrilled.
“He smacks me on my bare chest, and screams at the top of his lungs, ‘I JUST MADE YOU A FUCKING MOVIE STAR!'”
“Bad Boys” was a solid success upon its release, spawning two sequels released in 2003 and 2020.
In chapter 14 of his book, Smith said that “Bad Boys” changed how people perceived him and he noticed that women began to see him as a sex symbol.
“Up until this point in my life, I had used comedy to attract women,” he said. “And now I was being objectified. It was wonderful.”
“All I could think was, ‘OK, Michael Bay, you were right. I was wrong. Thank you,” Smith added. “From that point forward, directors had to argue with me to keep my shirt on.”