Nice work if you can get it! Jada Pinkett Smith was in the lucky position of being surrounded by half-naked men on the set of Magic Mike XXL — but that put her husband Will Smith in the unlucky position of knowing she’d seen Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, and Joe Manganiello in their underwear, up close and personal.
Chatting with talk show host Ellen DeGeneres on Tuesday, Feb. 24, the Focus actor couldn’t emphasize enough how “awkward” it is that his wife is in a movie about male strippers.
“You know, it was really interesting, because there were a lot of guys. There were a lot of famous people…So, everywhere I go, there’s someone who’s been in their underwear with my wife,” he joked to DeGeneres, gesturing toward her DJ, So You Think You Can Dance alum Stephen “tWitch” Boss, who has a role in the Magic Mike sequel. “It’s just awkward. It’s just awkward, Ellen.”
Then, turning to tWitch, he added, “You know, she spoke very highly of you. I guess that didn’t come out right either. It’s just awkward. It’s just awkward.”
DeGeneres assured Smith, 46, that he’s just as hunky as his wife’s costars. “They have to compete with you. You look amazing,” she raved, as a shirtless pic of the After Earth actor flashed on the screen behind them.
Smith said he was motivated to get in shape because of Margot Robbie, his much-younger costar in Focus. “When we found out Margot was doing [the movie], Jada Googled Margot,” he explained to DeGeneres. “And you know, Margot was 23 when we started the film. And Jada looked at Margot and said, ‘Boy, you need to go to the gym right now.'”
He did — and now he’s enjoying the payoff. “With Focus, this is the first time that people are talking about [me being] sexy,” he said, noting that he was a “late bloomer” and used to be known as just the funny guy.
“There was one minute when we did Bad Boys [that someone thought I was sexy]. I go to theaters when my movies come out, and I sit in the back and I try to see how people are reacting, and there was one scene in Bad Boys when I was running with my shirt open,” he explained. “It was the first time in my life, ever, I heard a woman go, ‘Mmmm!’ I didn’t know what to do. I was like, ‘What was that, miss?'”
He went on to say he used to think he didn’t measure up to certain other leading men in Hollywood. “I look at Denzel [Washington], and I’m like, ‘Now that’s a sexy man!'” he quipped. “I just never thought of myself in that way.”