“Hot Ones”: Will Smith revealed the hardest "hit" he took on set while taking on the wings of death

The actor/rapper/producer sat down with Sean Evans in anticipation of the release of “Bad Boys: Ride or Die"

By Joy Saha

Staff Writer

Published June 10, 2024 1:50PM (EDT)

Will Smith (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)
Will Smith (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

In anticipation of the release of “Bad Boys: Ride or Die,” Will Smith recounted his most painful on-set “hit” while feasting on a platter of mouth-burning wings during this week's episode of “Hot Ones.” It’s worth noting that “hit” in this context refers to the physical action of striking something or someone, the latter of which Smith himself got in trouble for during the 94th Academy Awards.

When asked by host Sean Evans, “What’s the most painful, inadvertent hit you’ve ever taken while shooting a sequence?” Smith said it was from his “Ali” co-star Michael Bentt, who played Muhammad Ali’s historic rival Sonny Liston.  

“[M]y trainer was trying to get me to get the angle of my spine forward and in this second I just was like you know what, commit. And I committed and leaned forward and almost as an instinctual reaction Michael Bentt threw a right hand, and I put my head down and he caught me with a right hand right on top of my head,” Smith said of the moment. “I felt an electrical shock go down the back of both arms to my elbows… that was like the hardest I’ve ever been hit on a movie set.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Smith discussed his top four career-defining hits, this time referring to his best movies. In between wiping away hot-sauce induced tears, Smith said his individual best movie is “The Pursuit of Happyness.” Following closely behind is the first “Men In Black.” Smith also gave special shoutouts to the “Bad Boys” franchise and “‘Aladdin,” in which he starred as the Genie.     

“If I had to put four of them in a time capsule it would be ‘The Pursuit of Happyness,’ the first ‘Men In Black,’ ‘I Am Legend,’ and probably ‘King Richard,’” Smith said.

The 55-year-old actor, rapper and producer also shared what he believes is the definition of a movie “hit” in 2024: “The definition of a hit is still pretty much the same. Essentially it’s just harder to get one. You used to be able to put some explosions in the trailer and a couple good jokes and people were there. Television is so good there are things people aren’t going to leave their house for anymore.”

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Smith continued, “There’s definitely a higher demand for a certain type of film for people to leave their homes.”

Smith’s upcoming film is the fourth installment of the “Bad Boys” film series. “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” also sees the return of Martin Lawrence, who plays detective Marcus Miles Burnett opposite Smith's detective Michael Eugene “Mike” Lowrey. Joe Pantoliano, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Paola Núñez, Jacob Scipio, and DJ Khaled will reprise their roles from the series’ previous film, “Bad Boys for Life.” 

“Bad Boys: Ride or Die” premieres in theaters June 7.

Watch the full "Hot Ones" episode below, courtesy of YouTube:


By Joy Saha

Joy Saha is a staff writer at Salon. She writes about food news and trends and their intersection with culture. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.


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Bad Boys "bad Boys: Ride Or Die Chicken Wings Hot Ones Recap Sean Evans Will Smith Youtube