That Shirtless Scene in 'Bad Boys' Changed Will Smith's Career Forever

In the mid-’90s, Will Smith was known for being a TV actor and a rapper, but he longed to make a name for himself on the big screen. The 1995 release of Bad Boys did just that, and the action movie went on to make $141 million at the box office.

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However, there’s one key scene in Bad Boys that Smith credits with making his career what it is today. In an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Smith explained that the movie’s shirtless scene was the idea of director Michael Bay.

“For this scene, I wanted to have my shirt on, and Michael was like, ‘Dude, I’m going to make you a freaking movie star, take your shirt off.’ And I was like, ‘Michael, come on man,’ and he was like, ‘Dude, you don’t know, I know!’

Smith then revealed that he and Bay compromised, and he opened the shirt to reveal his chest without totally taking it off. Fast forward to 25 years later, and fans still talk about that scene. “To this day, every time I see Michael he’s like, ‘Dude, I should be in for half. I made your career,'” Smith relayed.

The third entry in the Bad Boys franchise, Bad Boys for Life, will be released on January 17. It’s been 17 years since the second Bad Boys movie, but Smith said he and co-star Martin Lawrence re-connected like it was nothing. “I was definitely nervous because it had been so long but literally the first moment we were back together, the chemistry is so crazy. Martin as a comedian is wildly unique…he’s such a unique talent. I love working with him.”

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