July 2003
Bad Boys II : An Interview with Martin Lawrence

Interviewed by Wilson Morales

Bad Boys II: An Interview with Martin Lawrence

Itís hard to maintain a certain status in Hollywood. Everyone has ups and downs in this game. You just have to be level-headed and be strong to survive this business. Sequels have a way of bringing back the glory to actors who are going through a dry spell. After Bad Boys became the highest grossing film for Sony Pictures in 1995 with $65M, Martin Lawrence was on a big roll. He had hits with Life, Blue Streak, and Big Mommaís House. He joined the $20M, and life hasnít been the same. Itís no secret that he went through personal issues and it may have affected his film status. His last four films, which include Black Knight and National Security, havenít been winners at the box office. But if Arnold Schwarzenegger can make a financial comeback each time he appears as the Terminator, why canít Martin do the same. Teaming up with Will Smith once again, Martin Lawrence reprises his role as Marcus Burnett in Bad Boys II. In an interview with blackfilm.com, Martin talks briefly about what gets him going.

WM: Can you talk about finding your center in life?

ML: I know you think Iím crazy. I go into a different room and I actually felt like it takes me to a better place positive instead of negative. When we got the script Bad Boys II and my character takes time out to meditate I loved it. I said thatís perfect because I could feel that. Youíre always trying to get to a better place. Come on just driving in traffic instead of cussiní somebody out. It takes work and be able to come to a place and try to calm yourself. Itís the every day struggle but itís a must because itís healthier. If somebody pisses me off and I understand it ainít personal then Iíll go to another place and Iíll meditate.

WM: Do you think folks will find the violence in the film too excessive?

ML: I donít know why they would react like that. Itís an illusion. What makes kids see a movie and drive fast? As time goes on the only thing we could do is try to help that and I think it starts with the parents. You know your child is gonna see a movie and it may have those things then maybe you need to go with him to see how they react and then you could address why did they think it was funny. There are so many faces to comedy. Sometimes people are not laughing out of the fact that when thereís something really funny; theyíre laughing out of pain. Our psyche in this world is all f**ked. We giggle at things that are the hardest things to embrace but itís because we are so crazy so to speak. Youíre seeing a world, a society of people looking through their eyes and finding crutches to deal with a lot of the pains and heartaches.

WM: In the film, your character goes through the motion of having swallowed some ecstasy pills. Do you do any research on its effects?

ML: I watched a tape where some people were doing X and a father that couldnít get off of it and was hanging with his children. It was real sad to me to see that. I didnít wanna not do some research and not be accurate. I noticed the sweating and thirst, all of those things so we tried to figure out a way of making it humorous (like when I drink the water out of the flower vase) but at the same time understand that it has its effects.

WM: Have we seen the best of Martin Lawrence?

ML: Nobodyís ever challenged me and tapped into what I can do. I ainít played a villain which I believe I can do and do real well. There hasnít been any director who has been able to challenge me to go there. At this point in my life Iíve done a lot of things from stand-up to my own television show for five years to successful comedy shows, and concert films. Thereís just a matter of getting better and up the game. Thatís whatís exciting to me. I feel like Iím just scratching the surface and really understand the game and the talents Iím fortunate enough to be blessed with. I donít really feel like youíve seen the best of me. I will ride this mother f**cker till the wheels fall off!