The 10-year-old actor's famous parents have taught him to "be in the moment"

By Paul Chi
December 10, 2008 01:45 PM
Lucas Jackson/Reuters/Landov

When Will Smith‘s 10-year-old son Jaden is not busy starring in Hollywood blockbuster films like The Day the Earth Stood Still, he enjoys doing addition, subtraction, and multiplication tables – his favorite subject in school.

“It’s math,” Jaden told PEOPLE at the New York premiere of Earth on Tuesday. Why math? “Because I’m good at it,” he added.

Besides being a natural at tackling arithmetic, Jaden is already becoming a method actor and a professional at working a red carpet. While mom, Jada Pinkett Smith, and dad strolled down the carpet looking over his shoulder proudly, they let him do all the talking.

“You got to stay true to your character and you just got to be in the moment,” Jaden said of his acting technique, a method he said he learned from his parents.

As for his role in Earth – in which he costars with Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly – he says: “I play Jacob and he’s kind of depressed all the time because his father died and he’s kind of always sad and that’s the way he treats other people. He’s not really that nice so I had to stay true to him.”

The acting advice from his parents even helped him get through a sad scene in Earth. “It was actually really fun on the set and it was even fun during the emotional scenes because I was being in the moment.”

Jaden, who made his big screen debut in 2006’s The Pursuit of Happyness costarring his dad, may be following in the footsteps of his parents on the big screen, but his favorite activity with them is to simply to “watch movies with my family.”

In addition to spending time with family, Will Smith makes time for charity. The star of the new movie Seven Pounds will be in Charlotte, N.C. over the weekend for a screening of his film to help raise awareness for the Second Harvest Food Bank. He’ll cap off the day by donating 300 turkeys to Second Harvest at a red carpet gala, which is open to the public.