Jada Pinkett Smith Says She's a Lot Less Strict With Her Children Now

Jada Pinkett Smith is kicking butts and taking names in the TV series “Gotham.”

ByABC News
September 28, 2016, 1:53 PM

— -- Jada Pinkett Smith is kicking butts and taking names in the TV series "Gotham." She recently stopped by ABC News as a guest on "Popcorn with Peter Travers" to talk about her recurring role in the new season which kicked off just last week.

The show is based on characters in DC comics’ "Batman" franchise and Smith plays gang boss Fish Mooney.

"The Fish Mooney character was created for the television show," said Smith. "She was just brought there for that first year and that’s what the agreement was. But who knew that people would love her so much. So then they brought her back. You either love her or you love to hate her. But either way it’s still love."

Download the all new "Popcorn with Peter Travers" podcast on iTunes, Google Play Music and Stitcher.

Coincidentally, both she and husband Will Smith have landed on screen roles in the DC Comics family. Will Smith just starred in the summer blockbuster movie "Suicide Squad." And the comic book character appeal may be rubbing off on the couple's teen children, Jaden and Willow. Jaden has even asked his mom to hook him up with a role on the "Gotham" TV series.

"He’s like, ‘When are you bringing me on to 'Gotham' so I can wear my white Batman suit?'" Smith said. "And I was like, 'There’s only room for one Batman. Albino Batman has not been introduced yet."

"But he definitely wants to participate in the comic book world in some way. And Willow just loves Fish Mooney because she’s just so gangsta. Willow really likes badass women."

It’s no wonder Willow, 16, and Jaden, 18, want to follow in their parents’ footsteps. Their mom, herself an actress, singer-songwriter and activist, has set the stage for the teens to live their lives to the fullest.

"I would say that I believe in the earlier stages of my children’s lives I was far more strict," Smith, 45, told Peter Travers. "And as they got older, they got more and more freedom. My theory is that you create strong boundaries when they’re really young. And as they get older you start to trust them more and start to stretch those boundaries out, because really my idea is to get them to independence quickly. By the time you’re 18, I want you to believe that you can handle anything.”

PHOTO: Jada Pinkett Smith and Peter Travers at the ABC Headquarters in New York, Sept. 20, 2016.
Jada Pinkett Smith and Peter Travers at the ABC Headquarters in New York, Sept. 20, 2016.

Smith says her parenting plan stems from how she was raised.

"My grandmother was a real incredible force in my life,” said Smith. “She was a woman that believed in me at a very young age. And my mother was a young parent. So what my mother taught me was the power of freedom. Because my mom was a young mom, we were more like sisters. So as she was growing up, I was growing up with her."

She said the idea of expanded boundaries was passed down to her through those generations.

"I got a lot of freedom, a lot of freedom in which I was able to find my own way. And with my grandmother, she really instilled in me a lot of values that I could carry with me as I was finding my own way," Smith said. "So they were both very instrumental in me having the power to self-actualize and develop at a very early age."

The Smiths are one of Hollywood’s long-lasting couples. But it was a love connection that almost didn’t happen. The duo met after a young Jada auditioned for the role of Will Smith’s girlfriend on the TV the series "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air." But, surprisingly, Smith says it wasn’t a case of love at first sight.

"No, not at all. I came out of that audition and Will was there. So I guess his little technique was he would come when they were auditioning the girlfriends because he was checking out the girls," Smith said. "So he was trying to talk to me once I came out of the audition. I was like, ‘You don’t have anything to say to me, I didn’t even get the role. So we gonna keep this moving. So that was our first interaction," joked Smith. “Of course, over years we became friends. And as time went on, that friendship turned into something far more.”

The full interview with Jada Pinkett Smith is in the link above.

Related Topics