At 4 feet 11 Jada Pinkett Smith is one of Hollywood’s most powerful figures — standing as a matriarch of the Smith dynasty which includes her husband, Will Smith, and her children Jaden and Willow.
Actor, singer, talk show host, producer, and businesswoman, many people lock in on the controversy swirling around her love life and miss her role in Hollywood’s most elite boardrooms.
Hollywood It Girl
A Baltimore native, she started her acting career as a teen with guest appearances on hit shows like “True Colors,” “Doogie Howser, M.D.,” “21 Jump Street,” and as Lena James in the hit 1991 sitcom “A Different World.”
Shortly after that, the films started to pour and fans started to see her in films like “Menace II Society,” “A Low Down Dirty Shame,” “Jason’s Lyric,” “The Inkwell,” “The Nutty Professor,” “Set It Off” and “Scream 2,” making her, alongside talents like Nia Long, the “It Girls” for the 90s.
Other films would follow as she would be cast in Spike Lee’s “Bamboozled,” “Kingdom Come,” “Ali,” and as Niobe in “The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions.”
She played opposite Jamie Foxx and Tom Cruise in “Collateral” and with a slew of other top-notch stars in the computer-animated film “Madagascar.” Her film “Girls Trip” also was a blockbuster and history-making hit, becoming the first film written by a Black female screenwriter to gross over $100 million in the theaters, according to NBC News.
When she returned to television, she did not disappoint in her role as the chief nursing officer Christina Hawthorne in “Hawthorne” and as Fish Mooney in “Gotham.” In “Hawthorne,” which she starred from 2009 to 2011, she commanded $150,000 per episode and won a 2010 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for the role.
While many might be lost in her numerous IMDB credits, it is her work as a producer and businesswoman that has helped her earn an estimated net worth of $50 million.
She and her husband have Overbrook Entertainment and Westbrook Studios, which have produced countless projects like “Ali,” “I, Robot,” “Hitch,” “ATL,” “The Pursuit of Happyness,” “I Am Legend,” “Hancock,” “The Secret Life of Bees,” “The Karate Kid” “Emancipation,” “Cobra Kai,” “Charm City,” “Bel-Air” “Bad Boys 4,” and “Annie.”
Westbrook is responsible for the Oscar-winning “King Richard,” and Netflix’s “African Queens,” which looks at the lives of queens Njinga of Angola and Cleopatra of Egypt. Pinkett Smith plays an intricate role in all of the films, but took a special interest in “African Queens” and “Charm City.”
Pinkett Smith also signed on as a Broadway producer for “Fela!” and landed a 2010 Tony nomination for her work on the project.
“Red Table Talk”
Her baby is “Red Table Talk,” a Facebook talk show she formerly hosted with her daughter, Willow, and her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris. In its first two years, after debuting in May 2018, she had received over 7 million Facebook followers and won an NAACP Image Award in the Outstanding Host in a Talk or News/Information Series category and also earned a daytime Emmy nomination, according to Forbes.
Currently, the hit show is looking for a new home after META shut down its Facebook Watch, the platform the company built for original programming.
“We’ve had a couple platforms reach out to us and we have some interesting avenues that we’re looking at now. You know me, I’m always looking for the next innovative thing,” Pinkett Smith said to People magazine in June.
“Actually, there’s one idea that we have in mind that I’m kind of excited about that will probably be happening, maybe, close to the release of the book,” she continued. “We’ve got some really interesting stuff happening with ‘RTT.’ I’m excited about that journey as well.”
New Book, Tupac Backlash, And Questions About Her Marriage
The book she referenced drops on Oct. 17 and is called “Worthy.”
In promotion of the book, she recently made an Instagram post sharing footage of her and her childhood bestie, Tupac Shakur.
“Not in a million years would I have dreamed that the Fresh Prince and I would become, um, very acquainted,” she captioned. “Not in a million years did I imagine three lives, their fates, would be so intertwined.”
Instantly, the star received backlash with people saying her continual bereavement of her friend is a slap in the face to her husband, Will Smith, who once was the Fresh Prince.
This comes also after her relationship with August Alsina crashed headlines, when the young man she had a relationship with during her separation from Smith, and later told the world about their “entanglement” while promoting one of his albums.
Despite the success of her movies, real estate properties, studio, albums, her children, many painted her as a “callous whore” who embarrasses her husband.
Many blame Smith’s embarrassing assault on Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars on his insecurities about his wife and the control she has over him. Both of them have denied this and affirm Smith has been in therapy for his anger issues stemming from his childhood — detailed in his book, “Will.”
In “Worthy,” Pinkett Smith aims to undress her soul before the world, addressing many of the things people think that they know about her, like her relationships with Smith, Tupac, Alsina, and more. The book might even go into her New Village Leadership Academy which closed in 2013 after rumors of Scientology, her thoughts about herself and more.
As the true businesswoman she is, in addition to selling the book, she is launching a global book tour that stops in NYC, Dubai, London, Atlanta, Baltimore and more.