Will Smith explains why daughter Willow has dropped out of the big-screen Annie reboot, telling the audience of Real Talk with Sister Souljah and Will Smithat Philly's Temple University that his high-profile daughter really wants to act her age.
Will told the audience, "Willow was supposed to be doing Annie, we got Jay-Z to do the movie, got the studio to come in and Willow had such a difficult time on tour with Whip My Hair and she said, 'You know Daddy, I don't think so,' and I said, 'Baby, hold up!' I said, 'No, no, no, listen, you'll be in New York with all of your friends and Beyoncé will be there. You will be singing and dancing,' and she looked at me and said, 'Daddy, I have a better idea, how about I just be 12.'
The Smith clan has been in creative career overdrive, with 2010 alone packed with the release of Whip My Hair, The Karate Kid, Hawthorne and the Nobel Concert when Barack Obama won his Nobel Peace Prize. This summer, Will's sci-fi movie with son Jaden, After Earth, hits theaters.
"Don't be clapping yet, that wears you out," explains Will. "The thing that had become very clear to me is the danger of a material world and focusing so hard on coming up with money or a house or a job. You focus so hard on those things, and sometimes you can lose focus on why you are doing it in the first place. The only reason to do any of that is to have love."
He continued, "I'm really learning through Willow the necessity that we have to snap ourselves back and refocus on the emotional needs of the people that we love. Someone's emotional needs can be very, very different from your dreams and what you think they should be doing and where they are supposed to be."
So it looks like Willow will slow things down a bit for now and just focus on being a kid. Lesson learned, Will, lesson learned.