Date: 17th February 2001
WILL SMITH has been surprising cast and crew on the set of boxing film ALI with his toned physique - but the person most amazed to see him work is the film's subject MUHAMMAD ALI. Smith says the legendary boxer, who has been watching him train for the movie, still seems genuinely amazed at his own greatness.
The MEN IN BLACK star explains, "Ali just loves it. He just comes down and has a great time. The most amazing thing is that even after all this time, he's most amazed by himself. "He watches me train and then he calls me over and goes, 'Man, I used to be great, wasn't I?'"
And Smith insists that Ali, who has suffered from Parkinson's disease for years, is actually much better than he appears to be when he's seen at swish Hollywood parties and awards shows. He explains, "What's actually really tough is that the Muhammad Ali, the image with the trembling that people see, happens later in the day after he hasn't eaten the right foods. "If you see him at nine in the morning, he's 60 per cent Muhammad Ali. His mind is still there. He does magic tricks and all kinds of things." (LE/CO/RGS)