Bad Boys, Bad Boys, whatchya gonna do when they come for you — again? Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are re-teaming for “Bad Boys 2,” and probably no one is as excited about that as Gabrielle Union.
The onetime “Bring It On” cheerleader is positively giddy to have been invited aboard the cop-action-comedy sequel. “I’m just so excited to get started,” said Union, who’s had bit parts on TV’s “Friends,” “7th Heaven” and “Moesha” as well as roles in “The Brothers” and “She’s All That.” “It’s going to be crazy action.”
Following his arresting turn as a manipulative malcontent in art-house flick “Six Degrees of Separation,” “Bad Boys” helped to launch Will Smith’s film career in 1995. Big Will starred as playboy detective Mike Lowry, with Lawrence by his side as his slightly more uptight partner Marcus Burnett. “Bad Boys 2″ will be headed up by director/ producer Michael Bay and co-producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who went on to make “Pearl Harbor” and “Armageddon” together after dishing out the original “Bad Boys.”
“I’ve seen ['Bad Boys'] about 100 times,” Union gushed. “I liked it because it was the first time we got to see Will out of the ‘Fresh Prince’ mode and he was kind of like billy-bad-ass. It kind of established him as like a sex symbol. That was cool. And I think it was the first time we saw Martin as the straight man. And I really enjoy him when he plays a straight man, like in ‘Life’ and ‘Bad Boys.’ I loved it.”
For Union, who just wrapped Jet Li’s “Cradle 2 the Grave” with DMX, “Bad Boys 2″ will be another chance to flex some action muscle.
“I’m like the black Annie Oakley,” she said with a laugh, referencing the young 19th century gunslinger immortalized in film and television. “I shoot everything that moves. It’s just going to be a lot of fun and a lot of action. You know, typical Michael Bay, Jerry Bruckheimer … tons of explosions!”
What made the original “Bad Boys” such a commercial success had as much to do with its explosive action as it did with the good-natured tension between its main characters, much of it egged on by costar Tea Leoni’s damsel in distress. Union’s character will serve a similar purpose in the sequel.
“I play Syd, who’s Martin’s sister and Will’s love interest,” Union explained. “She’s an undercover D.E.A. agent working on busting an ecstasy ring. And she’s actually been able to kind of work her way pretty far up in the criminal underworld hierarchy. And wacky hijinks ensue! There’s kind of a sexual tension between my character and Will’s character, Mike. And it provides animosity between him and Martin’s character.”
Union said she’ll get started on “Bad Boys 2″ in early August. “Cradle 2 the Grave” officially wrapped on July 1, and according to Union, “it’s hot.”
“It’s really hot,” she said. “You can expect a lot of different things. I’ve never been quite as ‘exposed,’ I will say, and leave that up to people’s imaginations.
“It’s a whole different kind of dancing that they will see me doing than what they saw me doing in ‘Bring It On,’ ” she continued. “It’s a lot of action. Jet Li is insane. His hand and foot speed — it’s ridiculous. You’d have to really watch him do something a few times to really see every aspect of the move. He’s a martial arts, obviously, genius. He’s amazing.”
Though the 28-year-old actress’ resume stretches back at least six years, Union is well aware that “Bad Boys 2″ will be her biggest role to date.
“I’ve just been really blessed and lucky … I’m so blessed to have the opportunity to try to take it to the next level.”
“Bad Boys 2″ is eyeing a summer 2003 release.