(AllHipHop Features) Laurent and Larry Bourgeois imagined being part of the Men In Black universe ever since the France-raised siblings saw Will Smith don Agent J’s ebony and ivory suit in the original 1997 action-comedy classic. Fast forward twenty-two years, the duo (better known as Hip Hop dance deities Les Twins) experienced their dreams become reality when they took on the role of shape-shifting aliens in the F. Gary Gray-directed Men in Black: International.
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“F. Gary Gray was a huge fan of us for years,” says Laurent. “It was so hard for him to put us somewhere because it never really fit. He didn’t want to put us somewhere where it did not make sense.” Apparently, the filmmaker foresaw the pair eventually in front of a green screen as extra-terrestrials for some time.
Laurent recalls, “That was more than five years ago that he was calling us aliens. So the fact that he had Men In Black - it was the perfect match. It was really amazing to get cast for this movie.” Larry adds, “Many movies have called us, but we never wanted to do small roles because we felt this moment would happen, that people would use us the way they should use us.”
When the fourth installment in the film series arrives in North American theaters on June 14, moviegoers will get to see Les Twins make their major motion picture debut as villains hellbent on causing chaos for the Men In Black agents played by Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. However, their cinema initiation in MIB: International is not the identical twins' first introduction to the limelight.
Members of the BeyHive are very familiar with the Bourgeois brothers. After building a cult-like following in the online dance community, Les Twins were tapped by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter to be featured performers for high-profile gigs such as the 2011 Billboard Music Awards, the “On The Run Tour” with Jay-Z, and the 2018 Coachella Festival.
They were also front-and-center for a significant portion of Beyoncé’s internet-breaking HΘMΣCΘMING concert documentary on Netflix. With nearly a decade of collaborative work with Queen Bey on their résumé, Lil Beast and Ca Blaze have built a special camaraderie with the 23-time Grammy winner.
“The first time we told Beyoncé we would be the aliens in Men In Black, she kind of knew it. She probably heard from the people at Sony, because she works with Sony, Parkwood, and sometimes Live Nation. So she probably heard before [we told her]. This business is very small and everybody talks,” states Larry. “She was like, ‘I can’t see you as the bad guys. My boo-boo cannot be a bad guy,’ It was funny to hear her say that.”
Making the transition from YouTube superstars and the first winners of Jennifer Lopez’s World of Dance reality competition series to starring in a potential global blockbuster could have been a pressure-filled move for the burgeoning thespians. Being together since the womb may have given Les Twins a special advantage when it came to exercising their acting skills in the new Men In Black.
“As twins, we’re so connected. It would be hard for two great actors to be connected in that way. We actually have this thing naturally,” explains Laurent. “F. Gary Gray really wanted to put the twin connection in the front. We’d hit the same movements at the same time without looking at each other, every single time. I would say dance is the strength that we had to put first because we are blessed to have this ability that other people would probably have a hard time having.”
He also expresses, “It was kind of easy. We just had to be natural. Everybody is such a big fan of Men In Black. To literally be in it, anybody would turn into a kid. So it was more fun than actual work.”
Starring in Men In Black: International may have transported Larry and Laurent back to their preadolescent days as Will Smith fans, but the choreography masters have consistently displayed their physical intelligence around the world as adults. From dominating on France’s Incroyable Talent to appearing on America’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show to captivating crowds in Japan, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, and other locales, Les Twins have already stamped their name as entertainment legends.
“I didn’t want to be famous. I just wanted to make sure I got my money, to make sure my family lives correctly. Obviously, when you’re good at what you’re doing you get successful. I was so happy that Hip Hop took me to different places and allowed me to meet a lot of different people,” says Laurent. “I didn’t know the connection was that powerful, because I didn’t know my dancing was that good because I didn’t travel the world before that. When I started traveling the world, I realized that we had the ability to dance better than a lot of people. I was like, ‘Alright, I think it’s time to show love to the whole planet.’ And we did it.”
Lil Beast continues, “It was hard to believe that we would make it to this point to be able to do the movie of our dreams. Right now, it is part of my mission to make sure the people see how powerful and blessed we are. We’re blessed, but we get to bless other people.”
Men In Black: International is scheduled for release nationwide on June 14. The Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures production stars Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Rebecca Ferguson, Kumail Nanjiani, Rafe Spall, Laurent and Larry Bourgeois, Liam Neeson, and Emma Thompson.