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Will Smith improvised one of his most iconic action movie lines

Will Smith has said a lot of iconic lines throughout his long Hollywood career, but this one line from one of his best action movies was completely improvised.

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith in Bad Boys For Life

One of the most memorable moments in Independence Day was Will Smith punching an alien and saying, “Welcome to Earth.” But while you might expect a line like that to be scripted, it turns out it wasn’t — the action movie actor completely ad-libbed it.

In an interview with Yahoo! Entertainment, writer Dean Devlin revealed that a different line was scripted for that moment in the alien movie. “The line I originally wrote for that scene was, ‘Now that’s what I call a close encounter,'” the science fiction movie director explained. “But him punching the alien and going, ‘Welcome to Earth,’ was what [Smith] said when we did it.”

He continued, “I looked forward to having that kind of experience with him again where we would get to set, and he’d come up with all this great stuff.”

However, Devlin revealed that Smith ended up passing on an Independence Day sequel, with the thriller movie eventually going in a different direction with Roland Emmerich as director and The Boys cast member Jessie T. Usher in the lead role.

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“I think Roland directed a really interesting movie, but the studio asked us to make changes that didn’t make any sense to me, and ultimately, we put out a movie that I’m not crazy about,” he added.

For more iconic moments, check out our list of the best movies of all time. Or, read up on Smith’s new movie in the works with our guide to the Bad Boys 4 release date.