Jada Pinkett Smith’ Says She’s Different From Her ‘Hawthorne’ Character in 1 Big Way

Jada Pinkett Smith isn’t the characters she plays in movies or TV shows. Take Christina Hawthorne, the title character she played on the medical drama, Hawthorne. Smith’s not a chief nursing officer at a hospital. In fact, one aspect of Smith’s character baffled her because it’s so different from how she is in real life. 

Jada Pinkett Smith liked Christina Hawthorne’s ‘heart-on-her-sleeve’ personality

Jada Pinkett Smith at the premiere of Disney's 'Aladdin' in 2019
Jada Pinkett Smith at the premiere of Disney’s Aladdin | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

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Pinkett Smith opened up about what drew her to the character of Christina during a 2009 interview with RedBook magazine. 

“She is the über-caretaker and wears her heart on her sleeve in a profession where you’re not really supposed to,” the actor and mother of two said. “She’s sacrificing herself in every episode.” 

She continued, saying there’s part of Christina that’s relatable to everyone. 

“Every last one of us wants a hero — a stranger, lover, father, husband, sister — somebody who will put everything on the line for you. And that’s what Christina does. She’s relentless,” Jada she added. 

Not only did Pinkett Smith play the lead role on the show but she also produced it. Hawthorne debuted in June 2009 and ran for three 10-episode seasons before getting canceled by the network in 2011.

Pinkett Smith’s co-stars included Michael Vartan (Alias) as Dr. Tom Wakefield, Hannah Hodson (Happy!) as Camille Hawthorne, and Suleka Mathew (Claws) as Bobbie Jackson, according to IMDb.

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The actor didn’t understand her character’s ‘deep state of denial’

When Hawthorne opens, Christina does her best to save a life while also dealing with the death of her husband. One part of the storyline Pinkett Smith had trouble comprehending. It was Christina’s resistance to accept that her husband had died. 

“How she deals with loss — she’s just lost her husband,” Pinkett Smith said when asked what she has a hard time understanding about her character. “She’s in a deep state of denial and doesn’t know how to take care of herself like she takes care of her patients. It’s hard for me to understand that denial.”

Jada Pinkett Smith speaks onstage at the 2020 Essence Music Festival
Jada Pinkett Smith at the 2020 Essence Music Festival | Skip Bolen/WireImage

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She continued, saying she’s quite the opposite. Pinkett Smith described herself as someone who tries to face situations head-on. 

“I try my best to confront situations because I know, at the end of the day, you can deal with it or it will deal with you,” she said. “I’ve had enough experience to know that that’s how it goes down. There’s no going around it.”

Jada Pinkett Smith isn’t returning to TV soon

After Hawthorne got canceled Pinkett Smith turned her attention to movies. She voiced Gloria in  2012’s Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted before appearing in Magic Mike XXL and Bad Moms, according to IMDb. It wasn’t until 2014 the actor returned to the small screen playing Fish Mooney on Gotham

Today, Pinkett Smith hosts Red Table Talk on Facebook Watch and is gearing up to reprise her role as Niobe in The Matrix 4.

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