Smith learned the hard way on the cop movie set, which paired up Willis and Tracy Morgan. As Smith, Morgan and Seann William Scott would relish the opportunity to build on the yuks with each take, Willis would just lose his patience.
"Sometimes he would be like, 'We're done. How many different ways can we shoot this?' " Smith tells PopcornBiz. "I would tell him I like to gild the lily. That would annoy him. It would be like, 'We're still in this joke?' I'm sorry, but that's what we liked to do."
Smith likes to build ever higher in his scenes.
"I like Tower of Babel comedy. It keeps going and going and going. It takes you far off the page at a certain point."
Smith believes some of the best scenes in the movie came from this give and take. But Willis wasn't having it.
"Good stuff came out of that," says Smith. "But there were definitely times when Willis would be like, ' Will you stop (expletive) tagging up on the jokes? Let the scene end Kevin!' "
"I said, 'I will, in the editing room.'"
Even the scenes that didn't make the movie can be found on the Blu-Ray and DVD release for "Cop Out." So nothing went wasted in the film. And no hard feelings. Smith believes that unlike his other co-stars, Willis wasn't entirely comfortable in the comedy mode.
"He hasn't done comedy in a bit," says Smith. "He always said he didn't trust himself with comedy even thought came from comedy in 'Moonlighting.' "
"But so much of what he is as a movie star is predicated on John McClane (from "Die Hard") and not being a comedic actor like he used to be back in the day."