Father-son acting duo Will and Jaden Smith appear onscreen in the upcoming sci-fi adventure After Earth and as the movie prepares to hit theaters Friday, the two are opening up about family life and working together again after a seven-year break.
Will tells New York magazine's Summer Issue that the film actually carries a real-life message on parenting: "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," he said. "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 44-year-old father of three admits that his parenting style is pretty laid back, but denied a published report that claimed he "doesn't believe in" any punishment at all. "That's not what I said, but the sound bite can't actually hold the complexity of what I'm trying to say, you know," he said. "That there is a destructive aspect to corporal punishment that I don't agree with. There are concepts and ideas about punishment that I think run counter to healthy growth and psychological stability in this world."
On his father, 14-year-old Jaden said: "He's like, really just cool. He lets us have our freedom as long as we can control our freedom."
Will also speaks about what he calls his family's public openness: "I think for the most part we are transparent in the sense that there's very few big family secrets. I think that if Jaden or Trey or Willow were to write a book ten years from now, it would be very similar to what people think."