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Stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones talk about MEN IN BLACK 3!

By InCinemas  /  16 May 2012 (Wednesday)

According to the production notes for MEN IN BLACK 3, stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are very excited to return to the Men in Black franchise, as they explore the magic of the iconic series that first began in 1997 in a fresh new light. Director Barry Sonnenfeld and newcomer to the series Josh Brolin weigh in on the film as well...

Hit the jump to find out more!

“The Men in Black movies are about the relationship between J and K,” says Will Smith, who returns to one of his signature and favorite roles, Agent J, in Columbia Pictures’ MEN IN BLACK 3. “This movie brings that home – it’s about the power and origin of their relationship. It’s actually an idea we’ve had for years – we had the concept before the second movie – but it needed time to mature.  What we had to do was elevate the story, and the only way to do that is to go deeper, deeper into the characters, deeper into the revelations that the movie would reveal.”

“The relationship between J and K has been both contentious and affectionate at the same time throughout the movies,” says Tommy Lee Jones, who again dons the suit and shades to play Agent K. 

[Image of Tommy Lee Jones]

It has been ten years since the Men in Black were last seen protecting the Earth from the scum of the universe, and since then, there has been rampant speculation about a third film – but Smith says that it was always a given that there would be a third film.  “We came to a point where we all felt that we had a fresh and compelling story that took the audience to a time and place they had not seen in this franchise,” says Smith. 

(Click here to view the synopsis for MEN IN BLACK 3)

“You can’t beat the black suit,” Smith says. “It’s such powerful, iconic imagery. You put on the suit and the shades and it throws you into the mental space of the Men in Black. It’s like a childhood fantasy – you know things that the other people don’t know and you’ve got the most important job in the world.  The seven-year-old boy in me comes running out when I put the black suit on.”

[Image of Will Smith]

Tommy Lee Jones was similarly enthusiastic about playing the gruff Agent K. He says, “Any time you go to work with Will Smith is going to be a happy day, and Will and Barry together make it an even happier day. They are wonderful people to work with.”

“We wanted the movie to be both familiar and different,” says director Barry Sonnenfeld, who has taken the helm of all three Men In Black films.  “What’s familiar is the characters and premise of the Men in Black and who they are. We wanted to bring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones back together again. But we also wanted something new and inventive, and that came in the time travel element.”

  • Speaking of time travel, find out how you can win a retro Hamilton watch (worn by the Men in Black) worth $1,100 HERE
  • Also, find out how you can stand the chance to win Gala Premiere tickets to MEN IN BLACK 3 HERE!

Traveling back to 1969, Agent K is played by Josh Brolin, who gives a sly, smart performance as Young K that channels Jones’ mannerisms and characterizations while also making the character his own. 

[Image of Josh Brolin (left) and Will Smith]

“We shot the acts sequentially – we had Tommy playing K in the first act, then Josh came in playing K for the second act and almost all of the third act, and then in the last week of shooting we got Tommy back,” says Sonnenfeld. “What I found amazing was that I kept thinking I was directing one actor; the performances were so consistent that it was hard for me to tell where Tommy Lee Jones ended and Josh Brolin began.  For me, it’s not about Tommy playing K or Josh playing K. It’s just K.”

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DO YOU KNOW that Josh Brolin has seen the first Men in Black movie about 50 times?! Here's what he said...

  • “I’ve seen the first film 45 or 50 times – I’m not exaggerating,” says Brolin.  “I’m a huge fan of the chemistry between Tommy and Will.  Tommy’s voice has a cadence to it that’s very specific to Men In Black – it’s very different from the way he speaks in life.  I just listened to it and listened to it and listened to it until I started dreaming about it.  I don’t know if I got it, but my friends would tell me that I sounded like him.  I’d go out to dinner, and I’d hear, ‘You’re ordering like Tommy.’”  

Of course, even as the movie explores the characters’ relationships, it isn’t a heavy drama. It’s Men In Black, and that meant it would deliver trippy aliens, cool gadgets, and big laughs. All of that adds up to an irresistible tone that isn’t quite like any other film. Sonnenfeld says that the key to the tone – the only way to make the movie really funny – is for everyone to play it entirely straight. 

[Image of director Barry Sonnenfeld (left) and Will Smith]

“I want the situations to be funny, but the performances to be real, so I don’t want the actors trying to be funny,” the director explains. “I don’t want the composer to think ‘comedy,’ because then the music will be comedy music. I don’t even want the cinematographer or the lab that develops the film to think it’s a comedy, because the next thing I know, it’ll look too bright.  If I can surround the absurd situation with something real, it’ll be a great comedy.”

[Watch the trailer for MEN IN BLACK 3 here!]

MEN IN BLACK 3 opens InCinemas 24 May 2012. Rating to be advised. 

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