The actor multiplies the confidences in his memories.
Will smith publishes his memoirs, soberly titled Will, and between two very intimate confessions (he relates for example his jealousy towards 2 Pac, with whom his wife Jada Pinkett Smith had an affair), he returns to what he considers to be a great mistake of his career, because it had repercussions on his family: the flop ofAfter earth, by M. Night Shyamalan. Released in 2013, this sci-fi film was initiated by the actor himself, who wanted to give back to his son Jaden smith, following the success ofIn the pursuit of happiness. This film had given him an Oscar nomination in 2007, and had made young Jaden want to become an actor, but when After earth went out to the cinema, the reception of critics and the public was much colder.
“After earth had an abysmal flop, both at the box office and in terms of reviews, writing Will Smith, who has spoken of his disappointment with this movie in the past. And the worst part is that it was Jaden who took the backlash. The fans and the press have been vicious, they printed things about Jaden that I refuse to repeat here. Jaden had trusted me and he had followed all my instructions, but I coached him for a film that ultimately represented the greatest public shame he had ever felt. We never spoke openly about it, but I know he felt betrayed. He thought I had guided him badly and he had lost the confidence he had in me as the head of the family. At 15, when Jaden asked to be emancipated, my heart broke. In the end, he didn’t follow through with that request, but it hurts to know that you hurt your children. “
After After earth, Jaden Smith indeed refused to remake cinema for five years, before signing for a supporting role in an independent film, Skate Kitchen, the opposite of Sony’s big budget sci-fi flick. However, he received better reviews during that time for his role in the series. The Get Down, broadcast between 2016 and 2017.
M. Night Shyamalan: “After Earth is first of all a very small intimate drama between a father and his son”