As the son of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Jaden Smith found it hard to step out of the shadows of his celebrity parents, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, and ever since the young fashionista is doing everything he can to create his own path.
The Real Smith
Jaden started life following in his father’s footsteps and even appeared in films alongside his dad. However, as he grew older, he has been anything but the innocent little boy we saw in these films.
Not So Hollywood
Jaden started life as a mini-me of his famous father co-starring in the 2006 drama The Pursuit of Happyness and taking on his own leap of faith in the 2010 film Karate Kid. Despite both films’ success, his relationship with the entertainment industry began to decline and his acting career basically vanished as of 2013. Ever since, the 20-year-old has distanced himself from Hollywood – but was it out of choice? Or have there been secrets and scandals that have made Hollywood unwilling to cast Jaden anymore?
It seems the answer is both. After the disastrous After Earth was released, Jaden was labeled as the worst actor while his father came out on top as worst supporting actor. After Earth cost a grand $130 million to make yet only returned $60 million. Furthermore, it received a miserable 11% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes. Will Smith revealed that this was the most painful failure in his career, even more than his Wild Wild West flop because his “son was involved.” Jaden’s career was looking bleak from then on.
Victim Of Ridicule
Hollywood really had it in for the kid when execs began to mock him too. In 2014, hacker group Guardians of Peace stole sensitive information from Sony Pictures and released some of their most private emails. TriStar executive Tom Rothman emailed Sony head, Amy Pascal, with a link to an interview that the Smith children partook in and wrote, “1. Read this, 2. they r homeschooled: don’t let this family date your movies!!!” Jaden’s deep and philosophical thoughts became the joke of Hollywood big dogs.
Jaden has been known to have fairly quirky ideas on life, but a comment during his interview with T Magazine topped them all. At 16 years old he described time as being “relative to beings and other places. But on the level of being here on earth, if you are aware in a moment, one second can last a year. And if you are unaware, your whole childhood, your whole life can pass by in six seconds.” Over the next few years, Jaden delivered plenty more unconventional answers during interviews…
Scientific Test Upon Humanity
It seems Jaden is more interested in the pursuit of scientific knowledge than “happyness.” He and his sister, Willow Smith, decided they were “scientists” and drifted away from the idea of making movies. He said, “So everything for us is a scientific test upon humanity.” According to the teen, they started a Mystery School, inspired by the selective systems of education employed in ancient Egypt and Greece. He even went on to compare himself to the scientific pioneer Galileo.
Ready For A Roasting
Despite clearly thinking highly of himself after describing himself as “the future of music, photography and filmmaking,” Jaden has been roasted by many professionals. One writer for the New York Post suggested to Jaden, “Why not worry about walking the dog and taking your SATs before you do all that?” This was not the first time Jaden has been slated for his little talent. After his role in After Earth, it was said he needed to “bottle some of his dad’s charisma” to succeed as an actor.
Pulling The Plug
Just as Hollywood has reason to doubt Jaden’s abilities, it seems as though Netflix should have taken a leaf out of their book. After only 11 episodes, Netflix put an end to The Get Down where Jaden plays a graffiti artist. Apparently, the show did not receive the rave reviews that were expected and creator Baz Luhrmann decided it was time to pull the plug. Jaden expressed his disappointment on Twitter, however, it seemed Netflix had not yet learned their lesson…
The online streaming service decided to give Jaden another chance. His next project, The Anime Man, was again a huge flop. Whether it was Jaden’s doing or the fact it was created by Vampire Weekend’s frontman Ezra Koenig, the show was described as a “mesmerizing train wreck.” Apparently, the problem was related to the dialogue, “Kaz is an easy character to hate because he’s based entirely on Jaden’s Twitter persona,” said Polygon who mentioned his philosophical statements were “eye-roll inducing.”
Talking The Talk
Every now and then, Jaden Smith will announce he is going to complete a musical project, yet never seems to follow through with his plans. In 2016 he told his Twitter followers, “I’m Serious I Actually Wanna Be A K Pop Star.” He met up with G-Dragon and confirmed he would drop a K-pop single soon, yet this never arrived. In 2017 he said he, his sister Willow, and his girlfriend Odessa Adlon would form a rock band. But nothing came of that either. It’s time to walk the walk too, Jaden.
Haters Gonna Hate
In November of 2017, we finally got a glimpse of this mystery album Jaden had supposedly been working on all these years. The 17-track album named SYRE: A Beautiful Confusion received mixed reviews and the haters really hated it. Pitchfork said, “It would be generous to call this kind of songcraft scatterbrained.” While you would think Jaden would need to butter up Hollywood a little bit, he did the opposite in his music. One of the themes Jaden exposes in SYRE is the hypocrisy of the Hollywood lifestyle.
Saving His Career
More recently, Jaden has tried to rectify his acting career. He gained two roles in feature films in 2018, Skate Kitchen and Life in a Year, despite being relatively low-key ones. While dad, Will, helped produce Life in a Year, it gave Jaden a chance to show himself without his dad in front of the camera too. For the role, Jaden had to part with his signature dreadlocks, but they made a reappearance at the Met Gala red carpet.
Along with his slightly stomach-turning dreads in his hand, Jaden brought a gold record of his “icon” single to the 2018 Met Gala as his date! By the end of last year, he embarked on a tour of North America to promote his album, released a deluxe acappella edition of SYRE, and exposed its follow up ERYS. But with his recent turnaround and head towards the music industry, what else is there to Jaden Smith that we do not know about?
A Heartbreaking Moment
While Will and Jada Pinkett Smith have frequently expressed their desire to parent in a way that emphasizes freedom and creativity, Pinkett Smith has some regrets about trusting her kids’ autonomy. A conversation on Red Table Talk with Banfield-Jones led to Pinkett Smith opening up about a particularly difficult episode with Jaden when he was 15 years old. “At 15 years old, Jaden, and I remember this day specifically, it’s probably one of the most heartbreaking moments of my life,” she said. But what had Jaden revealed to his mom?
Jaden, 19 at the time, was present during the conversation on the show. His mom explained, “You got to a point where you told me straight up, you were like, ‘Mom, I have to leave here to live my life.’” She continued, “I remember thinking to myself, as devastated as I was, I was like, ‘He’s right,’ The time is now. He’s 15. It’s time for him to leave the house.” But what happened that gave Jaden the push at 15 to leave his parents behind?
No Support In LA
Jaden felt ready to leave as his heart wasn’t in Los Angeles. “I’m about to move out of L.A.,” he said. “There’s a lot of bad things here … It’s hard these days to really create the life you want for yourself because there’s nobody really here that’s like supporting the youth or the youth’s creativity and the things that we want to do and how they want to live life.” But that was not the only reason…
Bursting Out Of The Bubble
Being raised by famous parents, Jaden felt that he needed to get out of the Hollywood bubble. “It just makes you appreciate being at home, being with your parents, spending quality time with your family,” he said about moving out. “You get out into the world and you just understand things.” While Jada was impressed with her son’s maturity level and the fact that he was ready to manage his own life, Will had other feelings towards the matter.
Will confessed that his hands-off parenting approach may have been a “mistake.” “I think we may have gone too far,” he shared on BBC Radio 1Xtra. Meanwhile, he also had plenty of compliments to share about his son. After Jaden wore a skirt when he joined the Louis Vuitton womenswear campaign, his dad said, “Jaden is 100 percent fearless, he will do anything.” Will is proud that his son does not worry what others think and that he makes his own artistic decisions.
Just like his music ideas, Jaden did not follow through with his emancipation and opted to stay at home with his parents. He appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show joking about his decision, “I can get anything and everything at his house, so I’m going to be there for 20, 30 years.” Despite being heartbroken at the time, Jada also understood why her son made his decision, “Being in this lifestyle, in this world, is a bubble, and he wanted out. I understood that because I didn’t have the bubble,” she said.
Breaking The Silence
However, Jaden did eventually make the bold move and in late 2017 he left his parents’ home to move into a $4 million mansion in the gated, quiet community of Hidden Hills, California. Interestingly and unsurprisingly, the area reportedly became less quiet after the celebrity teen’s arrival. “This was a quiet neighborhood, but Jaden and his entourage are turning it into their own personal kingdom,” claimed a resident who also described Jaden as having a “sense of entitlement, bravado.”
I Am Not Human
Jaden has become known for his quirky weirdness, especially his questionable tweets which have left many wondering if it’s the real deal or a way to stir up some controversy. Meanwhile, Jaden has said that his criticism causes him to hold back from expressing his unique thoughts on his social media platform. Recently the 20-year-old tweeted, “I Am Not A Human And I Don’t Speak English.” Instead, he claimed, “I’m my own thing” If you think that’s bizarre, just wait…
Boyfriend Or Not?
Jaden recently made headlines after praising Tyler, the Creator on stage. He revealed, “I recently said that Tyler, the Creator is my boyfriend, and that’s true. So, just so you know.” Jaden then went on to say that the rapper is not only his best friend but he has been his boyfriend all his life. The video footage then panned over to Tyler who was seen shaking his head and seemingly denying Jaden’s comments. The “Creator” is yet to comment further!
Creating His Own Fake News
Since wearing women’s clothing, Smith gained much media attention. When speaking out about it, he claimed they weren’t “girl clothes” but just “clothes.” Ever since, Jaden has become a representative for those who identify their gender as non-binary (not exclusively male or female). So much so that in 2014 he stated that he wanted to remove his genitals by his 18th birthday. Jaden is now 20 and there have been no reports of altered genitalia, but the young adult continues to amaze us with his controversy.