Jada’s eventual reveal of one of the biggest family secrets will go down in history, but if you’ve ever been a fan of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, you already know that they love to tell stories about themselves and their children like any other parent. Even when it’s probably something a bit embarrassing or an overshare – but that’s what the red table is for.
Black actresses have had a hard time finding work traditionally in Hollywood, and the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag that arose a few years ago was proof positive of that. There’s been stories over the years of wild things people do to get roles, the behind the scenes of casting and even how they’ve had to go to bat for themselves for roles they believed in.
Jada herself has also shared how difficult booking work can be, even for a visible star like herself. She went on the record to discuss how she had to hide her pregnancy in order to book the role of Niobe in the Matrix trilogy – despite the fact that the role was written for her.
“I didn’t get Trinity, but they kept me in mind. And they wrote a part for me called Niobe,” she explained in a retrospective of her career for Vanity Fair. “And I’ll never forget when they called me in and they were like, Jada, we have this role for you, Niobe, but you’re pregnant.”
“And I’ll tell you a secret. I lied,” Pinkett Smith said. “Because Willow was supposed to be due November 11th but I told them, ‘No worries, the baby’s coming in October, so by the time the end of November comes, I’m going to be ready.’”
The lie ended up being the truth however, as Willow ended up coming on October 31st of that year.
“Let me tell you, my baby girl came on October 31st,” the actor said. “Do you know mama was ready. I was ready. End of November to start The Matrix. Pushed that baby out, got in the gym and got it together.”
While she may have lied in order to have Willow and keep her job, when it comes to Jaden, proud father Will Smith shared on an episode of Red Table Talk that mother Jada claimed she knew the exact moment she became pregnant with him.
Technically speaking, medical experts say that it takes up to 6 days to actually conceive, but Jada swears up and down that she knew “four seconds” after her and husband Will made love. There was no need to lie to her husband Will about that, however, and he recounted the story during a special episode of the show they did together.
“It was literally four seconds after we had sex and she was like, ‘Gasp.’ And I was like, ‘Babe, you OK?’” said Smith. “And she was like, ‘I’m pregnant.’ And I was like, ‘Babe, I think scientifically you’re not pregnant.’”
Jaden Christopher Smith was born July 8th, 1998.
See the episode below.