Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 July 2019

Will Smith gets dancing tips from Ranveer Singh as he stars in Bollywood film

The actor teamed up with filmmaker Karan Johar for the latest instalment of his Bucket List series

Will Smith met up with Ranveer Singh during a recent trip to India, where the 'Aladdin' star appeared in a Bollywood film. Facebook / Will Smith
Will Smith met up with Ranveer Singh during a recent trip to India, where the 'Aladdin' star appeared in a Bollywood film. Facebook / Will Smith

He's sky-dived in Dubai, swam with sharks in the Bahamas and ran a half-marathon in Cuba – but Will Smith's latest self-set challenge was a little more musical.

The American actor has a cameo in Karan Johar's upcoming Student of the Year 2, filmed as part of his online series, Will Smith's Bucket List.

The six-episode Facebook Watch show sees the star tackle some of the world's most thrilling adventures to celebrate his 50th birthday, which fell on September 25, 2018.

In the latest installment, Smith teams up with Karan Johar, as well as actor Ranveer Singh, to fulfill his dream of dancing in a big-budget Bollywood movie.

"I’ve always wanted to be in a Bollywood dance sequence," the Aladdin star says in the episode.

"I’ve always loved India. India is just a beautiful culture. The colours, the music, the intersection of religion and cinema … everything about this culture just speaks to my personality. India has always had this otherworldly pull on me."

To prepare for his dance, Smith meets up with Singh, "one of India's most colourful movie stars", who relays some of his on-screen tips and teaches him a little Hindi.

The duo also catch up with filmmaker Johar, who is behind films such as Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, a man that Smith says has "an intimate knowledge of [Bollywood's] importance to [India's] culture".

"On your metre of one to 10 of subtlety, be at 10," Johar advises the Fresh Prince actor. "Cinema is a dramatisation of reality."

Smith, who also visited Haridwar during his trip to India, later filmed a dance sequence for Johar's sequel to 2012's smash hit, Student of the Year (which Smith describes as the Bollywood version of Glee).

"It happened to be shooting at the perfect time, so Karan hooked me up," he explained, adding that he isn't a great mover.

"I've somehow, by creating dance records, created an illusion that I can dance. I can't dance. It actually makes me very nervous."

After initially stumbling over the choreography in rehearsals, Smith records an almost flawless sequence for the film, which is due to be released next month.

"I’ve been in this business for over 30 years, and this moment has reconnected me back to why I do this," Smith said, after filming his routine.

"People go to the movies because they want to have fun, they want to feel good, but by then opening themselves up to this collective emotional experience, an opportunity is presented where we can actually learn something about life."

Updated: April 4, 2019 12:55 PM

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