- Title: USA: Will Smith and Charlize Theron premiere their latest film, "Hancock"
- Date: 2nd July 2008
- Summary: WILL SMITH AND CHARLIZE THERON ON THE RED CARPET
- Embargoed: 17th July 2008 13:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA1J3Q4VGRWJ1V1379G7KC2MO63
- Story Text: Will Smith was joined by co-stars Charlize Theron and Jason Bateman Monday evening (June 30) for the red carpet premiere of his latest film, "Hancock," in which he plays a "has-been" superhero despised by the public. Smith, who attended the premiere with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith and friends Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and Queen Latifah, became interested in the role of Hancock because he is a rare breed among superheroes.
"There's a genre that has been created and locked rock solid for a lot of years, so much so "Hancock" is really the first new superhero in forty or fifty years, and that idea was always intriguing to me -- can you actually create a new superhero, or does it need to be ingrained from four years old to five years old in comic books, and I'm feeling very confident that he's a new guy," says Smith.
In "Hancock," Smith plays an embittered alcoholic superhero who saves the life of a public relations executive (Jason Bateman) who, in turn, offers his professional services as a thank you, and promises to help restore Hancock's tarnished image. Problems begin when Hancock falls for the wife (Charlize Theron) of the man helping him, and realizes that he may be more vulnerable than he lets on. Oscar-winner Theron jumped at the chance to work with Will Smith.
"He's a true artist," says Theron.
"He really tries to push the envelope and he tries to do work that's different and unusual."
Adds co-star Jason Bateman, "Will Smith playing any superhero would be different, he's got a great ability to bring the edge, bring the soft, bring the drama, bring the comedy."
Most of Will Smith's films, like "Ali" and "I am Legend," demand that the star maintains top physical shape, but in making "Hancock," he embraced letting loose and putting on some weight, although he didn't avoid the gym for too long.
"I trained, but I actually put on a little fat just to get that kind of nasty look, that nasty superhero look," says Smith. "Oh I get it off quick, I don't play with that -- right on the treadmill. Any time you run five to ten miles a day, your body's gonna do what you need it to do."
Considered one of the most bankable stars today, Smith is known for his energetic personality on and off the set, which wife Jada Pinkett Smith can attest to.
"You know what, sometimes it can be tiring, but we do balance each other out, we really do," says Pinkett Smith.
The red carpet was also abuzz with talks of a possible actors strike.
On Monday, Hollywood actors and studios held a final day of labor talks before their contract was due to expire, but the midnight deadline was expected to pass with neither a settlement nor a strike. The labor talks, which began in April, have hit some of the same stumbling blocks that led Hollywood writers to walk off the job months ago, including clashes over how union talent should be paid for work created for the Internet.
"I'm trying not to be really afraid about anything right now," says actress Amanda Peet, "I'm just going to try to enjoy the evening, but yes, I support my fellow actors and my union."
Adds actress Virginia Madsen, "There's issues that we haven't negotiated since 1980 or something like that, and there's a lot of new technology, that's my concern, because I know a lot of my work goes on the internet, and I'm like 'hey, none of us get paid for that,' and yet they do."
"Hancock" opens nationwide on Wednesday, July 2.
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