Will Smith admits he was 'terrified' to take over the iconic Genie role in Aladdin

goss 22/05/2019

Will Smith says taking on the role of Aladdin made famous by the late Robin Williams took some serious convincing, after almost turning it down.

Speaking to Rove McManus on The Project, Smith said the prospect of reprising the iconic blue character was "terrifying".

"It's like: 'Hey Will, we're remaking The Godfather, we want you for the Al Pacino role.' I'm like: 'Ah…no'."

"It was terrifying to even think about jumping into the shoes that Robin Williams created."

Eventually, however, the Fresh Prince Of Bel Air star agreed to take the gig, determined to bring his own flavour to the role that brought joy to countless fans over many decades.

"I realised that what Robin had done with the original genie, is he used his stand-up comedy persona.

"It dawned on me that I could do that with the persona of 'Will Smith' - what people remember from that 90s era."

Smith revealed that his version of the genie in the live-action remake was largely created with CGI, meaning he could take a few shortcuts when it came to make-up. 

"I never had any blue on me, ever!" he said.

The 50-year-old Hollywood A-Lister was also relieved not to have to "pump iron" to play the magical apparition, who spends a large portion of the movie shirtless.

"I've told my family, 'I'm going butt and gut'. I'm sick of being in shape!" he said.