Jodie Turner Smith: ‘Sometimes things we really want to work just don’t end up working’

Before now, Jodie Turner Smith had not given any interviews following her sudden decision to file for divorce from Joshua Jackson last fall. She kept it clean – no social media games, no immaturity, no drama. She filed, lawyered up, stayed off social media and whatever is happening between them, there doesn’t seem to be anything spilling out in public. Well, Jodie is currently promoting several projects, all while working on Tro: Ares in Canada. She recently chatted with the Sunday Times about life, motherhood, work and divorce. She’s either become the most mature person in the world or she listened carefully to what her publicist told her to say about her divorce. Some highlights:

She’s booked & busy: “I feel like the world is my oyster. I’m pinching myself, it’s insane! I really love what I do. It excites me, it thrills me, it fulfils me. And I feel like there’s only more to come from it. All I want is to grow, get better, to learn from what I’ve done and to constantly move. And all the while make sure that I’m looking after myself and everyone around me.”

On parenting: “The most important thing, like in any relationship, is boundaries. I love how strong my daughter’s personality is and I don’t want to crush any part of that, but at the same time I want to teach her how to have respect for herself and for others. Everything really is for her. Women are always taught that we’re second class in so many ways, especially once we become mothers. You’re treated as if you now have limitations and it’s like, no, I’ve just done this amazing thing [giving birth] that shows me I’m actually one of the most amazing beings to ever walk the earth! And you’re treating me like I’m less?! Motherhood makes me more powerful. Now I know I am capable of so much, because I became a mother. Thank God I became a mother! Not only has it been revealed to me exactly how powerful I am, but it has also been revealed to me that I deserve the world.”

On her divorce from Joshua Jackson: “Sometimes things we really want to work just don’t end up working. And that’s OK. The most important thing is that you choose what’s healthiest for you and your family and definitely your children. There are so many different moments in our life where we look at ourselves and say, ‘Who am I and am I being true to that?’ If the answer is no, then you have to make a move because I believe that there are visible scars from staying in places that are not good for us. And they don’t just affect us, they affect everybody around us. I don’t think it’s a failure. We obviously had such a beautiful moment together. And now it’s time for a new moment for both of us. And how exciting! The bravest thing in the world is to recognise when something’s not working and to make a move, and I always want to set that kind of example for my daughter. The big takeaway is that this is about just as much love and joy as it has always been. This is only about taking a step forward into a better life for everybody involved.”

She’s not listening to the constant chatter online. “I’m not out here responding to everything that people say and people’s opinions because that’s a losing battle. At the end of the day I am not the only person in the world going through a divorce. There are millions of people in the world who are going through what I’m going through and that’s something that’s amazing about the internet, that sometimes it can offer you community.”

Single motherhood: She’s not on the lookout for another relationship, in case you were wondering. “I am a single mother and it is incredible. Right now is a sensitive time, the time for me to be focused on her. I’m enjoying not having to focus on a man. Men take up a lot of space!”

Her early days as a model: “Back then, if you were a black model you really needed to have an agent and an agency, and you needed to work very hard. It was much harder to get work. I was so f***ing thin and I was still being told by agencies in LA that I should think about getting lipo on my legs. I was 22 and tiny! Instagram has really changed things because people can be their own agencies in a way. We have so much more inclusivity now. Models with disabilities, models that have vitiligo, size inclusivity — it’s just better.”

[From The Times]

“The bravest thing in the world is to recognise when something’s not working and to make a move.” I agree that it’s brave to say “I’m not happy here” and figure out a way to get out of the situation. It sort of reminds me of Adele’s marriage and divorce – no one really knew why she and Simon split, like there wasn’t one really obvious “reason,” and then Adele made it clear that she was unhappy in the marriage. Of course, I think it was probably more complicated in Jodie and Joshua’s case, but again, I’m impressed with the way Jodie has handled everything for months and how she’s handling it here.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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24 Responses to “Jodie Turner Smith: ‘Sometimes things we really want to work just don’t end up working’”

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  1. SquiddusMaximus says:

    What an effing incredible woman. That’s a mighty inspiring sermon right there. All the good vibes her way!

    • Christine says:

      Agreed, I admire her so much. I wish I had her strength and clarity at her age. I was a single mom in my mid-30s way back when, and I did not remotely have my shit together at this level. I’m turning 50 this year, and I absolutely agree with everything she’s saying.

      Her daughter is so lucky to have this as her first role model of womanhood.

  2. Sam says:

    I can’t stop thinking that Joshua was being a dick about something major and that’s why they get a divorce – but I could be biased because I love Jodie more.

    • Polly says:

      Yeah I’m always gonna root for Jodie, and I got the sense that she was all in and loved being a little family with Joshua and their baby. But hey what do I know.

    • Emily says:

      I agree.

      The comments about men taking up a lot of space and deserving respect as a mother. True statements but maybe a thinly veiled dig at Joshua.

      Some men have a hard time coming second.

      • KP says:

        LOL anyone who followed them on socials knows that their whole married life revolved around her and her friends and family. Every vacation and holiday with them. Heck the first time their kid went to his home town is because she is working there. Jodie posts on the daily so it isn’t hard to track. And he had worked less to let her work. Which makes sense as she is trying to establish a career here where he is able to be more picky.

        Ultimately this is probably part/publicist part moving on. She may not have a relationship per se but she has a guy she took on vacation with her and her kid and family and is featured in her stories and posts that she meet a couple months ago. I get why she does not highlight it-people always go off on women about moving on but she is not exactly sitting by the phone.

        I am guessing after the tabloids and gossips columns mocked her whole ad about needing a minute that ended with the hashtag #i hear it is ok to cry-a clear reference to Lupita shirt when she went public with JJ. And the whole mediocre mess-which to be fair was a little taken out of context. There is a video somewhere floating around. Her people probably were like let’s tone it down especially with the divorce and custody not finalized.

        Hopefully she is in a better place with everything and it does seem they are managing to co-parent well which is nice. As a lot of Hollywood divorces go this seems pretty low key

    • Kitten says:

      I kinda feel like we should believe what she’s telling us instead of, you know, the fictional stuff we want to believe.

      • Kp says:

        Which includes what she puts out online. Seems a little less fictional than a curated interview no? Maybe both can be true

      • Kitten says:

        @KP-were you viewing the site on your mobile? Because I wasn’t directing my comment towards you who I agree with but those who are hellbent on believing that Josh is some monster that treated her badly, despite all evidence to the contrary. It can be hard to tell if you’re viewing on a cell but I replied to the other poster, not you.

  3. Sunday says:

    Love her, glad to hear she’s doing well. For me, even if it was the best breakup in the world and I was happy and well-adjusted, being in the same casting conversations as my ex’s new partner would just irk me to my core.

    Also, whoever told her to get lipo at 22 should never work in the industry again, ew.

  4. Gwen says:

    Are you guys joking? She publicly called him mediocre. I wonder how she feels now that he’s with A lister and Osvar winner gorgeous Lupita. :

    “I was at this screening of Anatomy of a Fall before Christmas and Jodie Turner-Smith was the moderator. And she was so open about what happened in her marriage to Joshua Jackson. It was honestly shocking. She said that, like the woman Sandra plays in the movie, Jodie herself knows exactly what it’s like to be in a marriage that fails because the man is mediocre.”

    • LooneyTunes says:

      Oh no. How disappointing.

    • ML says:

      I feel like this article is full of some shade in disguise towards her ex, as well. Women coming second didn’t come from nowhere. So is caring for her daughter instead of putting in the energy for another guy.

    • Aurora says:

      I think she might lack accountability for her part in the divorce. I followed her on IG briefly, and my impression is she was much more interested on taking all in her newly found fame and professional opportunities than in forming a real connection with a partner of her choice.
      Grasping what can be a passing momentum is more than ok for any woman (or man for that matter), but then she shouldn’t have proposed or entered a marriage. No one should feel forced to prove the ability to become audience or accesory for a spouse’s volition. I feel it’s also ok to note that women can also go through periods of narcisscim or selfishness. In her case, she could use the gratification if only bc of all the racist trolling on her after Queen & Slim and her relationship to JJ. But again: They shouldn’t have gotten married.

    • Kirsten says:

      Yikes. That is a… disappointing way to talk about your former partner and father of your child.

      For awhile they did some modeling campaigns together — I wonder if he was kind of over trying to monetize their relationship and she decided he wasn’t ambitious enough.

  5. Anita says:

    She looks stunning in this black and sheer diamond net dress with a fantastic shade of red on the front and matching lipstick. It suits her perfectly. Her expression is serious, but she looks so beautiful, magnificent look, just amazing.

  6. Alex says:

    I mean, we’re grownups, let’s call things what they are. She caught him on the rebound and they got married because she got pregnant. It didn’t work long-term. I don’t think there’s any big mystery.

    • Kitten says:

      Yeah it seems like this is what happened and she just stopped feeling it. Am I the only one here who can relate to that? Sometimes a relationship starts out hot for a variety of reasons then just kinda fizzles. *shrugs*

    • NikkiK says:

      Exactly! And she proposed to him. Doesn’t mean JJ is a bad guy, doesn’t make her a saint or vice versa. Also, there needs to be a variety of words to describe parenting and caregiving situations because she is not a single mom, she doesn’t have a partner but she’s not raising her kid by herself. There’s an involved second parent for starters…….

      • Marmalazed says:

        The conversation about degrees of single parenthood seems weird to me. Like nobody knows the specifics of someone’s situation. Do my kids have a father who loves them and sees them regularly? Yes. But I make every doctor’s appointment, dental appointment, orthodontist appointment. I handle every phone call from the school, fill out every school permission slip, make sure they make their lunches every day, buy all of their clothes and shoes and haircuts, all of their school supplies, take them to all of their extracurricular activities, do the school drop offs and pickups, pay for someone to do it on days I cannot, make dinner, do the grocery shopping and laundry, make sure they do their homework, etc, etc, etc. Do I have family close by who can help me out in a jam? Yes. Do my kids spend a month in the summer with their dad? Yes. Am I their primary financial supporter? Yes. Do I get some child support? Yes. So, am I a single parent or not?

  7. Normades says:

    I really like what she has to say about parenting. Like was discussed in yesterday’s Tish Cyrus post, kids don’t need another friend, they need parents to teach them values and boundaries.

  8. bros says:

    @marmelazed I 10000% hear you! Im recently divorced and I do all of that as well. we dont know the breakdown of their labor, but I’ll bet she handles ‘the back end’ as I like to call it. I handle 100% of the backend of raising my son and his dad is just along for the ride during his custodial time. I still have ‘two’ kids and have to parent him first so that he parents our son. all pretty disappointing.

  9. Rnot says:

    I think they got married because she got pregnant and they wouldn’t have otherwise. They both wanted it to work but it didn’t. It sounds like she spent some time with a therapist agonizing over pulling the plug. Maybe she felt she wasn’t fulfilled but didn’t have a “good enough” reason to split. I’m glad she’s taking this approach with it.