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May 30, 2017

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Will Smith ready to work with Ang Lee

TAIPEI--Hollywood star Will Smith said yesterday at an international news conference in Taipei that he is ready to work with Oscar-winning Taiwanese director Ang Lee.

Asked if he has thought about working with Lee, Will said he and Lee have been "sniffing around" a few projects at different times.

"I'd love to work with Ang Lee. So tell him hurry up because I'm getting old," Smith said at the news conference, which was broadcast live on the Yahoo!Taiwan Celebrity Entertainment channel.

"Director Lee. I'm here. I had to come to your hometown," Will said in a playful tone. "I'm ready to work when you're ready to work."

Smith and his actor son Jaden arrived in Taiwan May 2 on a four-day trip to promote their new film "After Earth."

Asked what it was like working with his son on the film, Will said that making movies is a family business for him and is "the only way I know how to parent."

"For me, this is absolute perfection, to have my son with me working on the film and promoting the film," he added.

Jaden said working with his father is "fun" and helpful as he can always ask his father any questions he might have.

Smith senior said he has been doing a lot of work behind the scenes in the past few years with his family, describing it as a "very developmental time" devoted to projects such as music and screenplays.

"So I think in the next three to five years, you'll see a lot coming from our family, from our company and from our group."

"After Earth," set 1,000 years in the future, stars the two Smiths as father-and-son Cypher and Kitai Raige.

The film depicts how teenage Kitai and his estranged father, Gen. Cypher Raige, must learn to work together and trust each other in order to return to their home on Nova Prime, a planet light years away from Earth, after their ship crash lands on the abandoned Earth.

It is the second film in which the father and son have appeared together. They co-starred for the first time in the 2006 biographical drama "The Pursuit of Happyness," which was Jaden's film debut.

At the press conference, the host taught Jaden to say "skateboard" and "I love Taiwanese girls" in Mandarin, with dad jokingly fine-tuning his son's accent.

Also at the event, Laura Folta, general manager of Sony Pictures in Taiwan, gave Jaden a hand-made animal-skin crown from a Taiwanese aboriginal tribe and his father a handcrafted aboriginal machete that symbolizes power and authority.

The father-son pair then posed in funny postures with their crown and sword for the assembled press.

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