Jada Pinkett Smith knows a thing or two about the world of show business. She's married to Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Will Smith, and her children Jaden and Willow have firmly established themselves as stars in the making. Jada herself is also busy launching her new show, TV medical drama Hawthorne, for which she is an executive producer and a lead cast member. MyDaily met with the star to find out more about her new acting role and her life in the spotlight as a busy, working mum.
Can you tell us about your role in Hawthorne and what we can expect to see from the show?
Christina Hawthorne is the head nurse; she's a widow, raising her teenage daughter by herself. I would say that this particular medical show doesn't focus on the illness or ailments like many other medical dramas do, but it focuses on the people that come in with a particular illness. Although I have to say I did learn what to do in a cardiac arrest situation from the on-hand medical team!
Your mother worked as a nurse, how much did you look to her for inspiration when playing this part?
I absolutely looked to her, she was a nurse and raised me as a single parent and I was a pretty wild teenage girl, so she was a huge inspiration for playing that character.
The show focuses on the balance between work life vs personal life. Can you relate to this as a busy, working mum and what advice do you have for other working women?
It's a huge struggle and it's not easy - as a woman we have to ask what the priorities are. What is most important to us? I think we tend to focus on what's important to other people, whether it's our husband, boyfriend, kids, work, but if we don't pick priorities, we're going to kill ourselves! And we shouldn't feel guilty for making priorities either.
You and your family are very much in the public eye. Have you got any more exciting projects in the pipeline?
With everything that's happening with my children and my husband, I only have time for three months a year working on Hawthorne. I am squeezing in a Madagascar 3 but it's difficult to juggle it all. My son is doing a movie so I have to be on set with him and help produce that and with Willow's music career, there's a lot going on.
How do you manage all the work comittments as well as keeping family life in check?
They can't do what they are doing without their mum or their dad but Will has a lot going on too as he's filming Men In Black. Will is definitely the breadwinner! We are often both on set with Jaden so we're splitting it evenly in terms of supporting them but he has to work too so it's difficult. My priority has to be my kids.
Have you got any advice for other budding stars and their parents?
As parents we have to remember to assist our children. We're not here to dictate to them and I think that's a hard thing to break because our parents dictated to us. If we just took the time to listen to what our kids are telling us and gave them the opportunity to exercise their dreams, they may decide that it's not something they want to do. I wanted to be an ice skater, ballet dancer, doctor, lawyer, but because I was given the opportunity to dabble in those areas, it helped me realise what I really wanted to do, which was to act. I think the lesson we need to remember is that you can learn who you are by learning who you're not.
Hawthorne launches on the Sony Entertainment TV Channel next Thursday 7 April at 8pm.