Will Smith on the family business: ‘the idea of fame is less than desirable for us’

These are photos from the After Earth premiere in LA last night. Note that all the Smith kids are there, including Will’s older son, Trey. That’s relevant to this story, because Will keeps insisting that he’s not pushing his kids into “the business” or fame at all. If that’s the case, why do they all come to every movie premiere and pose on the red carpet with him?

The more Will Smith opens his mouth, the more he shatters any good will I have left for him. I know that sounds harsh, but the way he’s conducting himself during this press tour for After Earth has been bothersome to say the least. He continues to talk about his bizarre parenting approach, comparing harsher disciplinary styles to slavery, and now he’s denying pushing his kids into show business. On one hand he says he wants to create a family dynasty like The Barrymores (look at how that worked out for Drew, I mean it was ok eventually but you can’t say it didn’t screw her up) and on the other he says he’s not pushing his kids to be famous. He makes no sense. Here’s what he said about wanting to be like the Barrymores and how Willow told him she didn’t want to star in Annie.

“I’ve looked for a lot of years. The Barrymores got really close to what I see in my head for my family.”

“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 Beyonce. 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.”

[From ABC Local and CBS News]

So he says he wanted his family to be like the Barrymores. In another interview he told a story about how created a starring vehicle for this daughter and she said no and he eventually accepted it, and that means it’s her choice. He seems to have no grasp that he’s the one who set these situations up for his kids to say no to. He admitted it’s his goal for his family to be a show business legacy, and yet somehow it’s ok and he’s not forcing it on them because his kids can say no. At least there’s that. So here’s another interview where he frames it like a noble choice. US points out that he was asked about the Kardashians and that Will was kind of shading that “fame for fame’s sake” notion:

“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,” he explained. “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.”

“The idea of fame or exploitation or orchestrating the media is sometimes even less than desirable for us.”

[From US Weekly]

Is this why celebrities fall into cults like Scientology, because they help them justify their life choices with nonsense? This doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. He’s not pushing his children because he treats them like little adults who can do whatever they want, but he just happens to line up these huge productions which depend on his 14 and 12 year-old kids to star in them. At least Willow had the option to say “no.”

Also at the After Earth premiere, Jaden’s rumored girlfriend Kylie Jenner, 15.

And Bruce Willis and Emma Heming.

Photo credit: FameFlynet

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74 Responses to “Will Smith on the family business: ‘the idea of fame is less than desirable for us’”

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  1. Buckwild says:

    Oh god. Kylie looks like a washed up c-list pop tart.

  2. LL says:

    Let me skip the Smith family, why does Kylie Jenner look so old? The makeup and the clothes just seem too much.

  3. janie says:

    This entire family makes me sick.. Not interested in anything any of them do, period.

  4. Guesto says:

    I cannot stand this family.

  5. ruby says:

    Anyone else find Emma Heming’s feet skeletal ?

  6. LadyMTL says:

    HAH! I knew I wasn’t crazy when I was telling a coworker that Will Smith had 3 kids and not two. I must go and rub that in. :P

    Anyway! I do find it odd how a man who claims that “fame isn’t desirable” also wants to model said family after the Barrymores. That’s a contradiction, Mr. Smith.

    Sadly, he’s becoming less and less appealing to me as time goes on. Now he’s just…odd.

  7. RocketMerry says:

    Let us read inside that brain of his and rephrase:

    “The idea of fame is passion, love and necessary breath of life to us.”


  8. moon says:

    If you read the entire interview, it’s not as bad as it sounds. He takes an active approach in his kids’ lives, sets up opportunities for them but backs off if it’s not what they want. And it’s like he said, this is his profession so it’s what he can give advice in. If Jaden wanted to go off and do something else productive he’d be happy to help, just he doesn’t think he can do as much for Jaden. And Jaden sounds like he wants a showbiz career. The only thing I feel bad about is that Jaden doesn’t have his dad’s charisma, but that’s not exactly Will’s fault. He wants to push his children to the best they can be. He doesn’t believe in dictating to them. How is this bad?

    And he’s not exactly pushing scientology down our throats, is he? Unlike Tom Cruise.

    It could be a lot worse. Willow and Jaden sound grounded and hardworking. They’re not just sitting on their asses and being c-list famewhores who milk their dad’s name, unlike other celebrity children.

    • Dawn says:

      This! Plus I’ve read on other sites that he went ballistic when his family was compared to the KrapTrashians. So I love that. And isn’t that Trey a cutie. I am not a fan of Scientology by any means but I do think that Will is a talented guy and I still like him lots. If his children are talents as well we will know in about 20 years. As far as that Jenner girl goes, looks like PMK is getting ready to put both of them on the stroll with her picture and the other one’s showing up everywhere. Both Jenner girls are said to emulate their sister Kim so that is NOT a good sign for them or the public as a whole. I can only hope that the public have tired of all things without talent like the KrapTrashian/Jenner Klan and will move away from them to something new and fresher. Fingers crossed!

    • Diana says:

      @moon, that’s how I see it too.

    • mabooski says:

      RIGHT? i LOVE how they adore Willow and describe her as a force! she looks SO cute. I am so here for it! #blackgirlskillingit

    • Lucinda says:

      I get the whole setting things up for his kids because he has connections. Of course he’s going to do that. But his attitudes go so far beyond that. His thoughts on parenting and how he’s putting out something great for the world? My goodness. He does truly think he’s superior. That’s the part I take issue with.

  9. Andrea says:

    There was a time years ago when I really liked Will Smith. Now he just seems totally arrogant and crazy.

    Confession: I’ve never warmed to Jada. I always thought she was obnoxious. ::ducks flying tomatoes::

  10. Lucy2 says:

    The correct response to his statement? BULLSHIT.
    If he wants the kids to be able to explore acting music and whatever else they are into, let them take lessons, do school plays etc. Instead they have been pushed into huge global stardom and all that comes with it.
    I hope Willow sticks to her guns about it and just enjoys being a kid. Their son seems like he’s heading for Beiberville. Poor kids.

    • MrsB says:

      Right, and it may technically be their decision which helps him sleep better at night but most kids at that age will do whatever they think will make their parents happy. They are probably just be making these choices to get parents approval.

    • moon says:

      Uhm, if Jaden wants to be an actor, isn’t this a great opportunity? To be working with and learning your craft with the best? Is he not exploring acting too? (Acting isn’t confined to school plays, you know.) Just because it comes with a big budget and hollywood doesn’t make it an inauthentic acting experience. I’m sorry but your argument sounds like one of those ‘indie movies are always better and hollywood is shit’ theories. No, good acting is good acting (and vice versa) regardless of where you’re doing it.

      • lucy2 says:

        True, he can do movies and get good experiences out of it, especially if he really does want to act.
        My issue is that there seems to be a desire to make these kids HUGE stars vs. kids who enjoys singing or acting and do it for fun, sometimes professionally.
        They’re being handed big movie roles, record contracts, fashion lines, and a LOT of promotion, simply because of who their parents are. That just doesn’t seem healthy to me.
        My point is just that it’s great if they have all these interests and that should be encouraged, but that doesn’t have to mean making them into little global superstars before they’re old enough to comprehend all that comes with it.

      • Atticus says:

        moon, I see your point but respectfully disagree. My knee jerk reaction to that was, hello stage parent…he’d be worried if his kid wanted to be a dentist because then all of these amazing connections he has with the best of the best in the biz won’t be of any consequence? His son would have to find his own way?? The horror!!!

        I also cringed at the quote from Willow. If my kid said that to me, I’d feel so ashamed in realizing that I was obviously pushing things on her that she didn’t want to do. He may have said, that’s her choice, but it has more than a whiff of disdain/disappointment/disapproval.

      • jwoolman says:

        If Jaden wants to be an actor, he should be doing what other young actors do – go to open auditions and actually fail a lot. His parents are just buying roles for him. He hasn’t had to audition, the roles are manufactured for him. Hilary Duff’s stage mom did the same thing after her Disney stint on Lizzie Maguire, where Hilary was the weakest actor in the cast and actually became worse as the series continued. The manufactured roles didn’t help her grow as an actor. Any other roles she got were just trying to bring in her Lizzie Maguire fan base and little was expected of her (and judging from her interviews, she didn’t take the opportunity to learn from the successful adult actors). It’s sad because I think Hilary really would have liked to be a successful actor, but the skills were lacking and so the chances for transition to acting in adult roles was rather slimmer than usual for child/teen actors. I suspect the same thing might be in store for Jaden unless his dad keeps buying roles for him in his forties…

        Why do these insanely rich people refuse to just plop their kids into a really good university so they can learn about more than the family business? These kids don’t have a chance to find out where their long term interests and abilities may lie. I had so many more options than they have, even though technically we were below the poverty line. Maybe there’s hope for Willow, she doesn’t seem to be buying the Smith dynasty kool-aid very much.

      • lucy2 says:

        I agree, jwoolman – I think following the process that other child actors do would be a very good experience for the Smith kids. Most actors seem to feel that auditioning and rejection is a necessary part of their career – that’s how they learn to improve, to accept that they aren’t right for every part they go out for, and to distinguish between legitimate critiques and nonsense.

  11. NM9005 says:

    He based his entire career on being famous, a Movie Star. His ego is so big that he’s too delusional to see that he’s training his children to be Fame Robots too.

    His daughter may have inherited his looks, but at age 12-13, she’s 10 times smarter than him by telling him the one word he probably hasn’t heard in a LONG time: No.
    It takes a child to tell an adult to let them be a child. Which also shatters his image of the ‘cool dad who understands’. He’s a Movie Star with a big ego first. Obviously.

  12. neelyo says:

    Jaden is the prime example of what my acting teacher called ‘acting with your eyebrows’.

  13. doofus says:

    if fame is less than desirable for his kids, why is he trying SO HARD to make Jaden “happen”?

    the ONLY movies the kids has done are ones that Daddy produced/starred in, which tells me he wouldn’t get getting acting jobs without his dad’s “connections”. If he had the talent, he wouldn’t need them.

  14. pretty says:

    lol his son is such a try hard.

    i recently saw his interview with his son on Ellen show.


    that was so fake, wasnt’ it? that was so forced and it wasn’t funny at all.
    it was cringe worthy actually.
    and aren’t they scientology nutjobs?

  15. Hipocricy says:

    It’s not just Will, it’s Will and JADA !

    As a mum, she is supposedly the first protector of her babies, she is the first person to raise them and to spend more time with them. As a woman, she should have that typical instinct and sensitivity to protect her babies.

    There is a reason why Will’s older son is more grounded…he was raised by another mother who made sure to protect him and wanted to raise him in semi anonymity and relative normalcy.

    Jada is as obsessed as Will for her children to become stars the sooner the better. She was at Wilow’ side and promotional tour all the time during the Whip My hair era, taking her to parisian fashion shows as if a 10 it was a 10 years old place to start with.

    She was as proud as a Peacok.

  16. Alexandra says:

    I used to like Will Smith – but he is getting on my one last nerve… And his son really needs to stop with this stupid eyebrow raising expression! He looks like a total tool – and it’s going to be such a turn off for anyone to try to take him seriously at all… Just my opinion!

  17. Mia 4S says:

    Wow the reviews I’ve seen on this movie so far are BRUTAL. Not mixed, not running a bit negative, just dull and boring and bad.

    Apparently the film is the vast majority of the time just on the son. So they’re selling it as a Will Smith movie to actually push his kid? The ego and hubris on Smith is unbelievable.

  18. Vee says:

    I’m not buying what they are selling. I won’t see this movie.

  19. Madpoe says:

    Bruce Willis and Emma Heming <3

  20. MojoRising says:

    Those kids need an education. The not-too-smart is rolling off them in waves. Poor things.

  21. Hahaha says:

    Will upsets me with his attitude..Never thought he’s become so screwed up..Sad really.

  22. marie says:

    these kids need a parent, not a pal dumba-s. He wants to model his family after the Barrymores? Is he forgetting all the crap Drew went through as a child?

  23. Carolyn says:

    Not interested in anything the Smith clan is involved in. Will & Jada aren’t real people. They must have been furious that Willow refused to do Annie!

  24. palermo says:

    Both of them are so far up their own ass they can’t see straight. They don’t parent and heck yes they are pushing the kids into fame. The stupid article where he said that they were trying to improve the world made me gag. You are actors, not curing cancer

  25. Leah says:

    I’m more annoyed that Beyonce in going to be in Annie. I don’t think I can cope with another Bey musical.

  26. Boxy Lady says:

    Most of the Barrymores got their acting chops through stagework so already it’s a fail. He could still aspire to emulate their alcoholism, though, I suppose.

  27. Sabrine says:

    They are very wealthy and no doubt another action movie is around the corner that will bring in even more multi millions for their already burgeoning bank accounts. Their world is so different from mine I can’t be bothered commenting on their parenting skills, blah blah, who cares. Why do people even think for a minute they can relate to individuals so far removed from their own lives? Talk is cheap. It’s their deal, not mine.

    The oldest son is quite a handsome young man. Does he act?

  28. Rachel says:

    I used to really like Will Smith. He seemed like a cool, down-to-earth and funny guy. Now he seems insufferably arrogant and the same can be said of his mini-me, Jaden. Btw, does that kid know any other pose than the one he’s using in those pictures? It’s like he’s perpetually saying, “Huh???” I wonder if his forehead starts to quiver after holding his eyebrows up all night.

  29. Frenzy says:

    Jaden’s eyebrows are so Brandon Walsh ca BH 90210! These kids esp Kylie Jenner need to go back to school. That’s what you get for having a mom like Kris Jenner and famewhore sisters! I’d rather see Hailee Steinfeld or Elle Fanning any day!

  30. kim says:

    Omfg just shut your face already casa de smith!

  31. Kim says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah right and your arent gay either nor is your wife. LOL! Will & Jada are the worst fame whoring celebs I know outside of the Kartrashians. I feel sorry for their kids because their parents live a lie every single day.

  32. Kelly says:

    He sounds stupid. This family is obnoxious. The way to really make them go away is to stop buying tickets to their movies.

  33. swack says:

    “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.” This statement really bothers me. Isn’t it the goal of parents to make their children be independent adults. It’s okay to help out once in a while, but too continually help your children get jobs teaches them nothing. Also, my 3 daughters all have jobs that I cannot help them with and that has made them more independent.

  34. Relli says:


    Lol thats all I got becuase when I read this interview i was dying laughing. This is what happens when people lose touch with reality, they go into interviews and sound like complete morons becuase no one has the gall to tell them otherwise.

  35. KellyinSeattle says:

    He reminds me of Goop, a little bit – with the “I’m so charitable because I share my art, truth, and beauty with the world”…Jaden annoys me, Willow looks just like Will, I’d run far , far away if Jada looked at me, and their clothes? The red suit? Pimp fashion? As you can tell, they annoying me to know end. Glad to see Bruce and Emma, though.

  36. CosmicGirl says:

    Jaden used to be such a cute kid! What happened to him? I seems always kind of annoyed and aloof. I hope he can find who he really is and not walk in his dad’s shade.

  37. r u ok miss says:

    and willow looks bored to tears

  38. chalkdustgirl says:

    Don’t love how Jaden constantly slants his eyebrows like Biebs. Look I’m so cool :I

  39. Ron says:

    I’m glad he is producing movies that have young black boys and girls in it. I am happy my son gets to see someone in his image as a hero. Yes; he has his family to look up too.

    Will and Jada think their parenting style is the best and everyone should copy them. First rule of parenting “Row your own boat”. I also hate he said black parents think they own their kids, because of course he has talked to all black parents. I say BS to will on that statement.

  40. Mario says:

    The entire Smith family is fake and full of crap. Could they be more smug?

  41. lisa2 says:

    There is nothing wrong with parents helping their children. I got my first job because my father knew the owner. And I’m sure that others can say the same.

    I read the interview and that part about Willow turning down Annie.. was well telling. He said they had the choice to say no, but he was throwing all the perks up to her. That she could bring her friends to set, that Beyonce would be there. that sounded like convincing to me.

    but I just remember people here talking about the things that Willow would be tweeting. I think all the attention was too much for her. The praise and attacks. I can’t imagine that at such a young age. She seems to be doing better outside the “business”.

    and I’m just wondering why Will has not uses his influence on Jada’s career. I mean she is not well that big a deal on or off the camera.

  42. Ennui says:

    Couple of things really struck me when I was looking at the photograph and then in reading Smith’s quotes. First, I can’t get over how color-coordinated this group is. Oldest son in solid black, Willow in black and white, Jaden posing in all white, Will with black/white/coral, and then Jada whose shoes have the exact shade of coral in the stripes and then the coral shades in the dress itself. Bizarre.

    Second, Smith is in complete denial if he thinks the Barrymore family is to be emulated. Has he actually read the history and all the misery that has occurred in that group? I mean, Drew’s dad was a homeless addict for a number of years. Her grandfather was a tortured soul as well. Yeah, wish that on your descendants, Will! Great idea!

    I really do think letting the kids express themselves creatively in a group of their peers (namely school drama, band, dance, etc) would be better than putting the pressures of a multi-million dollar venture on their very young shoulders. Let them be kids, there’s plenty of time to be grown, and all those amazing connections Smith bragged about should still be there in ten years.

    Oh, and first post, nice to meet you all!

  43. Amy says:

    Will’s older son Trey is so handsome! He kind of has a Lenny Kravitz vibe (very slight). I’d rather see more of him than annoying Jaden.

  44. Str8Shooter says:

    LMFAO! I love how this ass-tard of a father claims to not choose fame for his kids, then goes on to recount he practically BEGS Willow to do Annie when she wants to quit singing (or whatever that is).

    The hubris of this d-bag. “I got Annie!”

    Well then, paint your skin white and start hitting those high notes, Will!