The Fresh Prince and his skinny-jeaned seed talk all things Smith-related
Will And Jaden Smith Cover The New Issue Of New York Magazine
Will Smith came up with the story for M. Night Shyamalan’s postapocalyptic drama After Earth, which opens May 31, while watching his son Jaden, 14, film The Karate Kid in China. The premise: A father is a best-in-class soldier who crash-lands with his son on a hostile planet Earth a thousand years in the future. The father, wounded, must watch from the sidelines as the son navigates treacherous terrain and fights terrible creatures in order to escape. The parallels to their adventures in Hollywood, Will says, are obvious.
Okay. Who would you say is the biggest star in your family?
Will and Jaden: [in unison] Willow! (Willow is Jaden’s 12-year-old sister.)
Jaden: She just knows who she is, so she just is.
Will: She has a magic power in the family. She absolutely demands the most attention, and there’s something really incendiary about a 12-year-old girl who says and does what she wants.
“Incendiary” is one way to put it, some would call it piss-poor parenting.
Hit the flipper to read more of Will and Jaden had to say in their interview.
In the past, Jada has described the family as transparent. Do you think that’s true?
Will: Let me see. Are we transparent?
Jaden: You can argue that we’re extremely un-transparent. Everybody knows where we live, but nobody really knows what our house looks like.
Will: That’s true.
Jaden: We kind of live in a fortress.
Will: I think for the most part we are transparent in the sense that there’s very few big family secrets. I think that if Jaden or Trey [Will’s son from his first marriage] or Willow were to write a book ten years from now, it will be very similar to what people think. And, the things about our family that are mysteries or seem strange, when they’re explained, it’ll be obvious. You know, the forum of media that we’re in can’t really handle the complexity of things that we say all the time.
Flip it to read Will’s thoughts about fame and how the Smith family is VERY different from Kimmy Cakes crew of reality-TV “stars”.
Jaden, how does it feel to be famous?
Jaden: I think it’s fun, except when people make up stuff about you. Then it’s not so much fun. But besides that, I enjoy it.
It’s been reported that you might be dating Kylie Jenner. The Kardashians have treated their fame as the family business. Do you guys see yourselves as similar or different? [Will, laughing, holds up his hand for Jaden not to speak.]
Jaden: I’m trying to understand.
Will: Don’t. You know, he’s never had to, to deal with those kinds of questions.
Well, forget the Kardashians … maybe you could just …
Will: [Mimicking] “So how do you think your life is similar or un-similar to people’s names in Calabasas?”
For our family, the entire structure of our life, our home, our business relationships—the entire purpose is for everyone to be able to create in a way that makes them happy. Fame is almost an inconsequential by-product of what we’re really trying to accomplish. We are trying to put great things into the world, we’re trying to have fun, and we’re trying to become the greatest versions of ourselves in the process of doing things we love. So the idea of fame or exploitation or orchestrating the media is sometimes even less than desirable for us.
That was very, VERY, diplomatic, but if you read between the lines it sounds like there are plenty of shots fired.
Continuing with the theme of famed-chasing and attention-seeking, Will also talked about the perception that he and Jada forced his children into Hollyweird. An accusation that he flatly denies.
Do you think Jaden could have been a dentist?
Will: It may seem like we have pushed our kids into the business, but that is absolutely insane. I would never, ever, push somebody to have their face on a poster that’s going be everywhere in the world. He is making a choice from the informed. It’s less scary to me than if he wanted to be a dentist in that I couldn’t help with what he’d chosen. I have relationships with some of the biggest filmmakers and actors and producers on Earth. So I can be a huge help.
Willow chose singing and then un-chose it. She said, “Daddy, I want to go to school with my friends during the week, and I want to hang out with them on the weekends.” At the peak of “Whip My Hair,” she’s like, “Daddy, I’m done.” I was like, “Wow, wow, wow. No, baby, I got Annie [the upcoming movie remake, co-produced by Jay-Z], you know. It’ll be New York, you’ll be with Beyoncé. You can bring your friends.” And she said, “Daddy, I got a better idea. How about I just be 12?” At the end of the day, it has to be their choice.
So maybe Jaden could have been a dentist, but he probably couldn’t sit in his room doing nothing all day.
Jaden: Probably not.
Will: I think it was in Edward Kennedy’s autobiography, he said that he hadn’t found his way in his life, and his father sat down with him and said, We are a family that are trying to have valuable lives. You are allowed to decide whether or not you want your life to be valuable to the world, and I respect that decision. I’m just not going to have a lot of time for you. Essentially that is my position with my children. You can choose anything that you want to do, anything you want to be, and you can decide you want to act crazy and run around. I respect your ability to choose a life for yourself that does not have value to the world. I respect that. I’m just not going have a lot of time for you.
Translation: “You can get on that degenerate, junkie, celebrity seed isht if you want to, but you’re gonna be on your own.”
Keep clickin’ to see more pics of Will and Jaden.