Few families in Hollywood are funnier than the Smiths, who seem to genuinely enjoy each other’s company but also aren’t afraid to play a prank every now and again.
Family patriarch Will Smith is one of the most bankable movie stars in history, but at home, he’s just dad. The Independence DayActor Trey, born November 1992, shares his son with ex-wife Sheree ZampinoHe divorced his wife in 1995.
Two years later, the Philadelphia native marries. Jada PinkettIn a ceremony near Baltimore. They welcomed Jaden in July 1998, and Willow in October 2000.
“From the time I was 6 years old, I wanted to be a father,” the Oscar nominee recalled during a June 2020 episode of Jada’s Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk. “I loved how my family was, but there were massive critical deficiencies in my father’s parenting that I wanted to correct.” He added that his dad, Willard Carroll Smith Sr., was very present in his life, but he had a volatile temper “that hurt my spirit.”
Trey said that he finally understood the challenges of being a father when he welcomed his first son. “I think that was my first moment of the real weight of parenting,” he explained. “I brought him home, and I remember we put him in the bassinet and Sheree went to sleep, and it was, like, stark terror: I’m totally responsible for this life. I just couldn’t stop going and checking. … I just knew I didn’t know nothing.”
Will came out about his unique parenting style as his children grew up.
“The way that we deal with our kids is, they are responsible for their lives,” the Men in Black star told MetroApril 2013. “Our concept is, as young as possible, give them as much control over their lives as possible. And the concept of punishment, our experience has been — it has a little too much of a negative quality. So when they do things — and you know, Jaden, he’s done things — you can do anything you want as long as you can explain to me why that was the right thing to do for your life.”
This approach was very useful when Jaden, just 15 years old, asked for permission to leave the house. “I remember thinking to myself, as devastated as I was, I was like, ‘He’s right. The time is now,’” Jada recalled in a 2018 episode of Red Table Talk. “I told Will when Jaden was smaller. I said, ‘We’ll be lucky to keep him in the house till he’s 16 because he was so mature.”
Ultimately, though, Jaden didn’t move out until he was 18. “See, here’s the thing. I’m not going anywhere,” the Karate Kid star told Ellen DeGeneresIn 2013, rumors circulated that he wanted to be legally free from his parents. “The thing that people don’t get is everything at this house is free.”
Keep scrolling for a look back at some of the Smith family’s most heartwarming moments: