And while the doppelgänger duo have now done two films together, Papa Smith wants to make one thing clear: His 14-year-old actor son is his own person, and his choices are his own.
In a new interview with New York Magazine, Papa Smith stresses that although Jaden is following in his dad’s footsteps, Will and wife Jada Pinkett Smith never nudged their children—including daughter Willow—into a life in showbiz.
“It may seem like we have pushed our kids into the business, but that is absolutely insane,” Smith tells the magazine in its cover story. “I would never, ever, push somebody to have their face on a poster that’s going be everywhere in the world.”
No stage parents here: Will insists that Jaden “is making a choice from the informed.” In fact, his son’s decision to pursue acting gave Will the opportunity to be a supportive father, Hollywood-style.
“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,” Will says. “I have relationships with some of the biggest filmmakers and actors and producers on Earth. So I can be a huge help.”
In fact, Will wants to make sure that their collaboration—After Earth follows the perilous odyssey of a father and son who crash-land on a post-apocalyptic Earth—imparts some valuable life lesson to his son.
“That’s what I wanted the metaphor of this movie to be: a father having to watch as his son makes mistakes in the world, and in an extreme place of life or death,” the 44-year-old actor says. “It is the excruciating parental pain of having to let your kids go, and you just have to hope that the lessons you’ve instilled will kick in at the right time.”
The interview comes on the heels of recent bogus reports that Jaden was looking to get emancipated from his parents so he could live on his own.
On the contrary, Jaden is looking forward to starring in another movie with his dad.
“I definitely would do another one, absolutely,” he tells New York Magazine. “You know, how Johnny Depp and Tim Burton always do movies together, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio? We’ll have a relationship like that.”
Guess it’s only a matter of time before we find out out what comes after After Earth!