Will Smith’s Aladdin Crew Backs His Performance as Genie
Will Smith starred as the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin and the actor got some flak for his performance. However, the cast backed his performance
Will Smith as Genie in Disney’s new live-action remake of Aladdin has got to be the most scrutinized performance this year – one which hasn’t even made it to the screens yet except in trailers and teasers.
Robin Williams’s performance as Genie in the 1992 animated movie was so iconic and formidable that Smith had very large shoes to fill. Playing the floating bright blue oversized personality in real-world environs could not be easy for Smith for sure. The constant scrutiny and backlash must have made even harder.
Now that the film is out, it shows Smith made the role truly his own without disrespecting Williams’ memory.
“He didn’t want to be insensitive to the memory of Robin [Williams], and what [he] had created,” director Guy Ritchie told Yahoo Entertainment. “So Will Smith was adamant that he had to be different, and not go near that particular incarnation. But I was pretty confident that Will could deliver Will. And that was my job, my job was to encourage Will to be Will.”
Smith’s co-star Mena Massoud, who plays lead as Aladdin, added: “I have grown up watching Will throughout my childhood, I grew up watching his films, and I think what's incredible with what he was able to do with this is he literally brings his 30-year repertoire and puts it all into this one role. Everything you love about Will — his action films, his drama films, his comedy, his singing and dancing, he kind of brings it all together and puts it into this film.”
Massoud explained that what people did not realise was the big buff blue version of Smith was done via CGI and not by make-up. Smith performed oppositie Massoud in a motion-capture suit for the scene where he was Genie – there are other scenes in the movie which show Smith as Genies but in human form.
“Will knew that Robin Williams had done his thing, he said, ‘I’m gonna do my thing and make it my own.’ So I stood back. That was all him,” said Oscar-winning music composer Alan Menken who also did the music for Aladdin.