‘So They’re Their Characters In Real Life?’: Will Smith’s Hilarious Story About Going Out to a Club Explains Why Martin Lawrence Refuses to Hang Out with Him

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence may have a lot more in common with their “Bad Boys” characters than fans were aware of.

In the film series, which was first released in April of 1995, Smith plays the suave ladies’ man Detective Mike Lowry, and Lawrence plays the devoted father, husband, and by-the-book Detective Mike Burnett.

Will Smith Martin Lawrence story
Will Smith shares hilarious story that led to Martin Lawrence refusing to hang out with his “Bad Boys” co-star. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for ESSENCE)

Fans may be surprised — or not, given recent headlines — that the on-screen duo don’t have to go too far into their imaginations to get into character. Smith proved that when he recently appeared on the “All The Smoke” podcast.

The “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star recounted a story about the time he managed to get Lawrence to hang out with him off set.

Smith said he and his reluctant co-star visited one of Miami Beach’s most popular establishments in the early 1990s, Prince’s club Glam Slam. It did not take long for the box office juggernaut’s story to go left as he detailed how the comedian sat in the club with his hands crossed, seemingly unmoved by the party atmosphere.

“Martin was newly married,” said Smith, as he explained that Lawrence stood firm in his stance of staying out of trouble. Lawrence was married to his first wife, Patricia Southlake. The actor and former Miss Virginia wed in January 1995 but divorced two years later. They have one child together, daughter Jasmin Page Lawrence.

At the time of their Glam Slam outing, Smith was also married but separated from his first wife, Sheree Zampino, who had already filed for divorce after three years of marriage. They share one child, Trey Smith. 

“So the girl walks up and stands in front of Martin. She’s standing there, and she’s dancing in front of Martin. She lifts her skirt up, and she has nothing on under it, and she’s asking Martin if he wants to have sex in the club,” continued the Academy Award winner.

Smith said he then looked at Lawrence, just as he lost his cool. “He’s like, ‘This why I don’t f**king go nowhere with you!’” The “Emancipation” actor’s story time concluded with laughter as he revealed, “Martin and I have never been out again. Never been out again.”

Online, some of the fan reactions to the story included:

“He was married too but y’all gone skip that part lol.”

“So they’re their characters in real life?! Lol.”

“That’s why I dont go nowhere with you Mike. Sounds like the movie.”

“Yah know sometimes it’s better to never tell the stories you’ve never told before.” 

The duo has teamed up for two more installments of the buddy-cop flick: “Bad Boys II” in 2003, which introduced Gabrielle Union to the action flick scene, and “Bad Boys For Life” in 2020.

Lawrence and Smith were rumored to be in the very early stages of figuring out a concept for a fourth film when Smith slapped Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars. As a result of the rage-filled outburst, many of Smith’s works-in-progress were put on hold.

However, in July, the “Big Momma’s House” star confirmed that the Oscars fiasco would not interfere with him and Smith teaming up for another installment of their franchise.

“We got one more at least,” Lawrence told Ebony. The three films have collectively grossed more than $800 million, which is a huge feat given that studio executives were not yet convinced that movies with Black actors as the lead could do well overseas.

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