Jada Pinkett Smith isn’t worried about the impact movie stardom is having on her 11-year-old son Jaden, now that he’s the title star of “The Karate Kid,” opening tomorrow (6/11). Fame, she notes, “has always been a part of his life. For him, it’s not anything different. Yes, the focus and attention is on him now, but he’s just like, ‘Okay.’ He’s a very mellow, introverted cat who takes everything in stride.”
Daughter Willow, on the other hand, “is explosive. She’s all energy. She’s like her father in that way – very, very extroverted. They’re both kind of layered with both of our personalities,” she says of herself and husband Will. “My son is more like me in how he deals with fame, but he’s very much driving with his career, like his father. Our daughter I would say deals with the public like Will does, but her creative sensibilities are very much like mine, very unconventional.”
The nine-year-old – who has a music project of her own coming out in late summer – latched on to China in a big way when the Smith family was in that land for three months last year while Jaden was shooting “Karate Kid” with Jackie Chan.
“I didn’t expect my daughter wanting to learn Mandarin. She has continued to learn the language here. When we go back to China for the premiere there, she asked if her Mandarin teacher could come along, to help her keep up with her new language skills. We said ‘Absolutely.’ She has so much love for the culture. That was surprising.”
The Smiths have the Tony Awards to attend Sunday (6/13) – they, along with Beyonce and Jay-Z – are producers on the musical “Fela!” that’s up for 11 awards. The next day, they head for China and the film’s premiere there. After that, they’ll be traveling to other points ‘round the globe to help launch the movie. Jada’s TNT “Hawthorne” series gets its second season premiere June 22.
Jada posed nude for the cover of Essence that’s just coming out. What does Will think about that? “Oh, he loves that stuff. He loved the photos,” she says.