Jada Pinkett Smith Doesn’t Have Any Interest In Not Playing A Strong Female Character

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Asking a female where she gets her strength from as if it’s some rare jewel is kinda insulting. Asking an actress why she chooses strong female characters is a bit of a redundant question. Dear media (and we’re assuming a lot of y’all are made up of said women) this is not a question!

It’s like that time director Joss Whedon spoke about constantly being asked by the media why he “keeps creating strong female characters” and his response was boss:

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The question continues to be asked and we’re wondering when will the collective cultural “ah-ha” moment finally happen. While we’re waiting for that, we hope women will continue giving the answers that put this query to bed once and for all. One woman certainly doing that is actress, mother, singer and all-round badass Jada Pinkett Smith.

In an interview with Haute Living to promote ‘Magic Mike XXL’ she gives the lowdown on why playing a strong female character isn’t a choice for her.

People tell me that I always play strong women. In all honestly that is probably where I am restricted in my creative pursuits. I have no idea how not to be strong, and I don’t know if I have the desire to. I tend to gravitate towards strength energy lines,” she said.

She plays the sexually-charged brothel owner Rome in ‘Magic Mike XXL’, and portrays villain Fish Mooney in Fox’s ‘Gotham’.

And before you think her MMXXL character is a deviation from her norm, she gives some interesting info as to how wrong that assumption is.

“What I tried to do with Rome is communicate strength differently—from a place that is a lot more feminine—a bit more soft and open. The part of Rome was originally written for a man,” she reveals.

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‘Magic Mike’ seems like one of those films that is all about objectification and sexual exploitation, but Jada shares a different point of view about what director Greg Jacobs and star Channing Tatum were trying to create.

“One of the biggest selling points for accepting this role was Channing saying—and I’m not quoting—that there is a way to make the adult entertainment industry responsible. Channing has a huge influence in this industry—the idea that he has the guts to tackle this subject was a real selling point for me. ‘Adult entertainment’ seems like a nasty phrase, but we communicated it in a responsible way,” she said, admitting she was initially hesitant to take on the role until she found out this info.

Being open-minded in that way is part of her creative process and allows her to find the characters that she has been able to portray as strong an empowered in ways she might not have initially thought.

“I simply want to be on a beautiful creative journey staying open. This attitude allowed me to participate in Gotham and Magic Mike XXL. Once I get stuck with fixed ideas—a role like Rome could have just slipped through my fingers. There is a certain freedom that I have in my life now that I haven’t had in the past. I think it has to do with having the time to grow and shed old ideas that I no longer need,” she said.

Jada is a woman who we admire deeply because her words are not just empty marketing tools, they are an indicator of who she is. Every woman needs to be following her on Facebook and see the plethora of social issues she talks about from the heart. Whether it is age, gender, race or beliefs, Jada doesn’t do anything by halves and you get this sense she is a person that really lives with her whole heart.

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Another thing she doesn’t have time for is ego.

“The worst aspect of being an actor is finding a way to manage your ego. I’ve been having a lot of ego deaths lately that are connected to this idea of a celebrity. That’s a thing I have to contend with in this business: you have to crash and burn to [become] a more authentic [version of yourself]—being who you are instead of whom you want people to think you are!”

In a world where authenticity can be so hard to find, it is a great reminder that it starts with ourselves and we need to forgo our egos in order to do that.

Jada talks about her family in the interview saying how close they are and that they are the most important thing to her. Her husband Will, son Jaden and daughter Willow are often pictured together in the media as a very close-knit family. She says this is part of what makes her a strong woman and is also what allows her to step outside her comfort zone with confidence.

“A woman needs to be deeply connected to herself and her family, and has got to trust herself. It’s about staying present and adjusting the formula, which comes in a million forms. Trust takes courage—happiness takes courage; it’s not easy! Women need courage to be able to step out of the box and be who they are meant to be,” she said.

Inspiring words to live by, from a woman who has taught us that being a strong woman or playing one shouldn’t be a topic of discussion. Instead it should be a standard expectation.

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