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Will Smith & Son Jaden Costar in After Earth


In their new film After Earth, real-life father and son Will and Jaden Smith play a father and son – and Will says his 14-year-old son’s decision to act was all his own.

“It may seem like we have pushed our kids into the business, but that is absolutely insane,” the star tells New York magazine in advance of the movie’s May 31 release.

“I would never, ever, push somebody to have their face on a poster that’s going to be everywhere in the world. He is making a choice from the informed,” says Will, 44.

“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 someone of the biggest filmmakers and actors and producers on Earth. So I can be a huge help.”

Will adds that his 12-year-old daughter, Willow, recently changed her mind about pursuing a career in the spotlight.

Will and Jaden Smith
“She said, ‘Daddy, I want to go school with my friends during the week, and I want to hang out with them on the weekends.'”

Her choice was carefully considered, says Will.

“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 Beyoncé. 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.” (Beasts of the Southern Wild Oscar nominee Quvenzhane Wallis, 9, is now playing the orphan role.)

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But despite costarring in films together, Jaden says he considers his relationship with his father to be “normal.”

“He’s, like, really just cool. He lets us have our freedom as long as we can control our freedom,” says the teen.