Jada Pinkett Smith

[INTERVIEW] Jada Pinkett Smith Talks New Projects, and Why We Shouldn't Hate on Reality TV

The Madagascar 3 star speaks with EBONY on her "Red Table Talks" series, and why we should all be responsible for the TV we watch

Geneva S. Thomas

by Geneva S. Thomas, June 06, 2012

Jada Pinkett Smith

Photo courtesy of Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

you start to understand, you never stop. So you never get to a place like, “Ah, here it is.” You know? You might get to a place like, “Okay, I’m finally glad to be here and be comfortable in my skin no matter what.” But the lessons don’t stop.

EBONY: One thing you are also known for is balancing business and the artistic side. Talk a little bit about that, you have your own production companies, and you take your own ideas and actual them. Talk about getting that place where you know what to decide to do for this business point of view, or that creative point of view.

JPS: I think that, even now I’ve learned how to separate art from commerce. Right? So there’s certain things that I do creatively for commerce and there’s certain things that I don’t do for commerce like my music. I don’t do my music for commerce at all. I just do that to be creative, so I separate that from business completely. That is strictly art creation. And so depending on what I’m trying to achieve really depends on how I will approach something from a business standpoint. So it’s like, “Okay if I want masses, like how do I get masses of people to gravitate to this particular project?” Right? So then you have to strategize creatively, and you have to strategize business wise also, like what partnerships you create or what have you. Like Fella for instance. We’ve got Jay Z came to us about that particular project. So here you have three very recognizable African-Americans that are behind this Broadway showfella. You know what I mean?

EBONY: Great show by the way.

JPS: Right. You know? And so when you look at it from a business point of view, for us that’s something that we did creatively and something that we did for business as well. And so we joined forces and I have to say one of the things that I love about Jay Z, and I love about the relationship that I have with him businesswise, I think Roc Nation and Overbrook Entertainment are probably maybe the only two African-American entertainment groups that I know of that merged together all the time, on all kinds of different projects, and we always have such wonderful success. You know what I mean? And I’m hoping that, that will set an example for African-Americans. We don’t always have to be in competition. You know what I’m saying? And there’s more power in numbers. And that goes for everybody, not just African-Americans. That goes across the board for everybody. Everybody just want to have…just be a law. Forget about the power of the groups, you know? But I’ve learned that over the years that to really be able to create alliances on a business side to encourage growth and prosperity on the whole for everybody.

EBONY: With the summertime coming up who are some of your favorite artists that you are listening to right now on your IPod?

JPS: Oh my gosh. Who am I listening to right now? Probably not many people that you guys would recognize. I mean because I like a lot of, you know I’m a metal head. I like a lot of metal music. So that’s really what I listen to a lot. Or I listen to a lot of kind of off the cuff, like I love artists like Santigold, or Gold Frapp. Yeah. Pelican. Yeah. And that’s kind of where I’m at right now. Like a lot of old Police. Yeah. A lot of throwbacks. What else am I listening to?

Question: Roxanne of course.

JPS: Yeah. Of course. Of course. Of course.

EBONY: One of the comments that Chris Rock made last year about for his presentation about a black guy can play a zebra and white guy can play an Arabian prince, and as well as the process of filming you shop up, someone feeds you your lines, and get a million dollars. Is the process of animated film, really just that easy?

JPS: It just depends like, on how you come and how you approach it. You know? It wasn’t that easy for me because I found it took me three installments to get the swing of this. Okay because…Chris is a standup comedian, okay? So you are used to being a one man show, right? For me I was so used to interacting with other people and then I didn’t have a set, I didn’t have clothes, and you just have people telling you all of this stuff. And I’m like, “I don’t know what I’m doing right now, and I don’t know what this is. So let me just…I’m just going to give what I got.” You know what I mean? And so I found it to be a

Stay in the Know
Sign up for the Ebony Newsletter