Will Smith Says He Owes Michael Bay His Career for That Shirtless Scene in ‘Bad Boys’ (Video)

“Dude, I’m gonna make you a frickin’ movie star!” Smith says in his best Bay impression

Will Smith says he might owe his entire career to action movie director Michael Bay’s insistence that he take his shirt off in that one scene in the original “Bad Boys.”

The actor was on “The Tonight Show” to promote “Bad Boys For Life,” the third installment in the “Bad Boys” franchise that began in 1995, in which he stars opposite Martin Lawrence.

“So Michael Bay was shooting this scene, and I wanted to have my shirt on. And Michael was like, ‘Dude, I’m gonna make you a frickin’ movie star! Take your shirt off,’” Smith told Jimmy Fallon on Thursday. You can watch the original running-with-a-gun scene here. 

“I was like ‘Mike, come on man, running with your shirt off? Come on, man.’ And he was like ‘Dude, you don’t know! I know,’” Smith said, doing a hilarious impression of Bay’s voice.

“So we compromised in that scene. I was like Mike, ‘I have to have a shirt. I’ll have it open, just not off.’ And we compromised, and it was one of the iconic scenes from that movie,” Smith continued. “And to this day, every time I see Michael Bay, he goes, ‘Dude, I should be in for half!’”

Bay is known for directing “Armageddon,” “6 Underground,”  “Transformers,” “Bad Boys” and “The Rock,” among others.

Smith recently appeared in Disney’s live-action remake of “Aladdin” as the Genie. He’s also known for “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Men in Black” and “I Am Legend.”

Watch the clip above.