Jaden Smith Explains Why He ‘Was So Quiet’ as a Kid: ‘I Always Knew No One Was Going To Understand Me’

Fans of the celebrity couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith know their son, Jaden Smith. 22 years old, the rapper and actor has a history of making headlines for saying bizarre things. In Smith’s opinion, he’s always viewed the world differently. It led to some uncomfortable years as a kid but now he speaks his mind with confidence. 

Jaden Smith’s admitted to struggling as the child of a celebrity

Jaden Smith at the premiere of Netflix's 'Bright'
Jaden Smith at the premiere of Netflix’s Bright | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

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Smith felt uncomfortable growing up the child of a celebrity. He opened up about his upbringing in a famous family on a 2020 episode of Red Table Talk with his mom, Pinkett Smith, and his sister, Willow Smith. 

“You’re not a normal human if you can’t go out into the world,” he said when his mom asked him about growing up “privileged as famous actors’ children.” 

He said that it became an additional element to his childhood and carried over into his adult life. Going out to dinner became a worry. 

“I don’t know how things always work,” he said. “I always get nervous at the end of dinner. How do you have dinner with a group of people? When I have dinner with my dad, he orders everything on the menu, and then he pays for everything, and then he leaves. So it’s like — Is that how we do? Does everyone expect me to do that?”

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The actor says kids treated him differently because of his outlook

As an 18-year-old Smith sat down with Variety. He talked about how his outlook on life shaped his interactions with others even as a kid. 

“I’ve always looked at life differently,” he said “I always knew no one was going to understand me — since before I could talk — and that’s why I was so quiet. I was very calm, very to myself. I could tell I felt about life differently than other kids; I could tell by the way they treated me.”

The feeling of being an outsider is one of the reasons Smith wanted to play Marcus “Dizzee” Kipling in Baz Luhrmann’s The Get Down

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Jada Pinkett Smith knew her son would forge his own path

Smith emancipated himself from his parents at 16 and it wasn’t much of a surprise. 

“I told Will when Jaden was smaller, ‘We’ll be lucky to keep him in the house ’til he’s 16 because he was so mature,’” Pinkett Smith said on Red Table Talk. “He was making films. He could really manage his own life.”

Will Smith and Jaden Smith at the premiere of 'Shark Tale'
Will Smith and Jaden Smith at the premiere of Shark Tale | Sylvain Gaboury/FilmMagic

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Smith became an actor at 8, starring in The Pursuit of Happyness with his dad. 

“Being in this lifestyle, in this world, is a bubble, and he wanted out, and I understood that, because I didn’t have the bubble,” she added. “I knew what having my freedom — outside of the bubble — what I gained from that. I knew that the sooner I let him go, the faster he was gonna come back.”

By 2025, Smith wants to be gone from public life. He plans on leading a simple existence where his main focus is helping people through art installations. In the meantime, he’s continuing his career and keeping up with fans on social media.