I mean, everybody wanted to be a part of this movie, and the two of you got, you must be thrilled with yourselves.
Yeah, well, very blessed.
We're very blessed to be here, and grateful.
And we hope people like the film.
I think they will.
I think it's going to do really well.
And were you fans of the original?
Oh, I loved the original growing up.
I think also because it was a movie that me and my brother loved.
It has everything for everyone, adventure, drama, and, of course, Princess Jasmine was one of my favorites.
I mean, yeah, it's kind of surreal.
I don't think it's really sunk in yet.
So when you got the role of the genie, did you know this was happening?
Did you go after it?
The first thing, so they called, and they say hey, we want you to play the genie.
We're doing a live action version of Aladdin.
And I was like, nah, man.
No, Robin Williams like smashed that thing.
It's like, you have to be careful stepping into projects like that.
At first I looked at it… Ellen, have some water.
She is such a good host.
She's over in.
I'm looking at her, and she's like, she's looking and she's trying to listen to the story.
That could have been edited out, now you've made it entertaining.
So it's great.
All right, so you said no, because Robin.
Robin, you know, he really smashed this role.
He revolutionized what you could do in these kinds of movies.
So I was listening and listening, and I was like, I just didn't think I wanted to touch it.
And then I started playing with the music, and the music is where I found my in to the genie.
"A Friend Like Me" was the first song that I messed with in the studio, and then I found that sort of hip hop flavor that was sort of-- what Robin did was he took his stand up persona, and used his stand up persona.
And I was like, oh, I could just use my sort of Fresh Prince persona and use that because the genie has been forward and back in time, so you can pull references from anywhere.
So I mirrored that, and the hip hop in was where I saw I could put my own signature, while maintaining the nostalgic value.
And you sing.
We know you as a rapper, but then you sing in this.
Yes, I sing.
- It's great. - It's the first time.
First time we're hearing you sing.
So many talents.
Your brother was obsessed, right, with Will?
Yes, my brother is the biggest Will Smith fan.
And I feel like people say that.
They're like, oh I'm the biggest Will Smith fan.
My brother actually has, or had, no he still has it, a life size cardboard cut out of Will Smith before he got this role in his room.
And I would walk past, and be Woa, because I just like see this lifestyle cardboard cut out.
Yeah, and it's the first time that I've ever gotten an international restraining order.
So on four continents he has to stay 50 yards away from me.
- Always a first. - It's true. - It's true.
And you all shot in Jordan in the desert?
How was that?
That was amazing.
We got to the desert, and there was champagne flowing, and they were giving us these beautiful scarves and dancers.
And we found out, Will threw this huge party in the desert for us when we got there.
So it was, it was amazing.
And then we went back for press.
Yeah it's really important to me, I've done a lot of these movies and as I'm getting older, it's starting to be more and more important to me that the ideas and the messaging of the piece be a contribution to the human family.
I just cannot wait till all of your daughters get to see the Princess Jasmine that the Naomi created.