"Will has the same core group of friends that he had when he started, all the guys from Philly," Ribeiro told MTV News. "We worked together for many years, and we maintained our friendship ever since. Will's not that guy [to leave people behind]. He really cares. If you're a part of the family, you're in forever — you can't get out."
The pair made everyone laugh on the sitcom, but Ribeiro said that Smith's performance in the movie is light-years away from the wacky kid from Philly he played on "Fresh Prince." "I think it's probably one of the most tender performances Will has ever given," Ribeiro said.
Smith also got serious for a moment when he talked about how the film has changed him. "One of the central ideas of this film is, it's a man who made a huge mistake," he told MTV News. "The film is the process of him trying to get his life back together."
He added that playing a guy who is trying to atone for his sins by helping strangers has taught him that "if you can attach to a higher purpose, your life has a meaning, your life has a connection to other people, that because you woke up today, somebody else's life is better — that is the key to that ultimate joy and the ultimate self-esteem."
He disputed the gossip claiming that he found the love scenes with his co-star Rosario Dawson hard to shoot. "No, no that's a rumor, man!" he joked.
But someone who wasn't joking about their intimate moments together onscreen was Dawson. She's currently hard at work on the movie "Parts Per Billion" with Robert Pattinson, whom she calls "amazing."
"[Will's] actually really shy. Not [about] his physique, but doing the love scene was a revelation," she told MTV News. "It was very sweet to see him being like, 'What should I do? ... Maybe my wife should be there. I'm a little nervous. I don't want to be that guy.' "
She said she was afraid he was delaying their onscreen love-fest because he wasn't attracted to her. "It was the thing we talked about consistently when making this film. He kept pushing it until the end of the schedule. He rescheduled our kiss, like, twice. I was starting to get to the point where I thought maybe it was me," she said. "It was getting really weird. And then on the day, he was like, 'Yeah, we're going to get this scene.' And I was like, 'You're just really nervous.' ... And that's just so endearing."
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