Arsenio Hall Turned Down Role in Bad Boys

The late night talk show host reveals he was supposed to star opposite Martin Lawrence.

It’s always fascinating to hear which roles celebrities turned down in films that went on to be popular movies starring different actors. File this latest revelation under "What if ...." Can you imagine the Bad Boys franchise starring Arsenio Hall and Martin Lawrence? There’s a reason why you can’t. Hall says he turned down the role that eventually went to Will Smith, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Hall, who will be returning to his late night talk show host roots this September, shared what his initial plans were when he ended The Arsenio Hall Show in 1994. The Celebrity Apprentice alum revealed he wanted to do more acting.

“It was one of those things I tried to pursue after I left late-night. I wanted to study and take it seriously and not just be the talk show host who is popular so he gets a role,” Hall told The Hollywood Reporter. “But I wasn’t able to crack that nut the way I wanted. It’s a tough racket.”

Ultimately, Hall believes that turning down the lead in the blockbuster film was just his life path. “I remember there was a time I decided not to do more stand-up or go on the road. I turned down a movie called Bad Boys where it would have been me and Martin [Lawrence] instead of Will [Smith] and Martin,” says Hall. “You look back and say, it wasn’t a bad decision because I’m happy with my life. I’m a daddy or whatever. But then you realize that’s not where I’m supposed to be."

Hopefully, Hall will get a lot more movie opportunities once he re-establishes himself again as a regular fixture in late night television. is your #1 source for Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music.

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(Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

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