After a seriously lengthy journey to the screen, the third entry in the Bad Boys franchise hits theaters later this month.

In a new interview, star Martin Lawrence reflected on the extended wait Bad Boys fans endured, chalking up the delay to a Will Smith-inspired patience for a script that hits certain notes.

Asked by Zach Baron in a Monday-published GQ profile to give the "most concise explanation" for the delay, Lawrence pointed to the script.

"The script wasn't right," he said. "And Will, to his credit, refused to do the movie until the script was right. It wouldn't have been a good movie. We didn't want that. We wanted to do a sequel where people would go, 'Oh, man, that's what I'm talking about. It just gets better.'"

Smith, of course, is known for having a heavy amount of creative input regarding his projects. And back in April of last year, director Joe Carnahan elaborated on how he ultimately left the Bad Boys sequel, suggesting it came down to Smith's vision for the franchise.

Elaborating further on whether the delay was ever a "sore subject" for him during the years of interviewers' questions about the movie's status, Lawrence offered up some wisdom about not dwelling on shit. "People were asking me, and I had no answer for them," he said. "I was asking myself that question."

The interview, which can be enjoyed in full right here, also sees Lawrence being asked about a famous Dave Chappelle clip from a 2006 episode of Inside the Actors Studio. In the clip, Chappelle mentions Lawrence by name, saying "These people are not crazy, they're strong people. Maybe their environment is a little sick." Though Lawrence hasn't seen the full interview, he said he did not agree with Chappelle's "environment" comment.

"Whatever it is, if I was involved in it, or it didn't put a good look on me—if it was my fault or somebody else's fault—it's just not a good look. And I own up to that," he said.

Bad Boys for Life, directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, is out Jan. 17.

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