Will Smith Was Moved to Tears By Son Trey’s Selfless 16th Birthday Wish

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith raised three children together. They have Jaden and Willow together, and Trey Smith from Will’s first marriage. When Trey turned 16, he made such a selfless birthday wish that it moved his father to tears, and inspired Jaden and Willow to do something equally selfless for Christmas.

Trey Smith with Will and Jada at the Golden Globes in 2016
L-R: Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Trey Smith in 2016 | John Shearer/Getty Images

Will told the story at the press junket for his 2008 drama Seven Pounds. Seven Pounds came out Dec. 19, 2008, just five weeks after Trey’s 16th birthday on Nov. 11. 

Will Smith’s son Trey made his father cry harder than the very special episode of ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’

Since Seven Pounds was a Christmas holiday movie, the question of Christmas gifts naturally came up. Smith said he and his kids were only giving Christmas gifts that year. They were inspired to do so by Trey.

“His birthday was November 11th and he did something that had me all teary at his birthday party,” he said. “He had asked all of his friends to bring gifts for other kids. He said he didn’t want any gifts for his birthday, he said he has enough stuff so he had all of his friends bring gifts to the party and they took the gifts to the cancer ward at Children’s Hospital.”

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Smith has had some intense dramatic moments, from the Fresh Prince episode where Will’s father returns to movies like The Pursuit of Happyness and Seven Pounds. He recreated the tears he felt when he heard Trey’s selfless birthday wish. 

“I was like, ‘Well, go ahead. You’re on punishment.’ ‘For what?’ ”Cause you can’t be looking at me like this.’ Smith said. 

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s life lessons worked 

Even before his Seven Pounds interview, Smith had been talking about the life lessons he and Jada taught their children. It’s clear they paid off, such as exposing them to different economic circumstances around the world. 

Will Smith with family at the EMA Awards
L-R: Trey Smith, Willow Smith, Jaden Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith | Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

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We have taken them to South Africa. [Seven Pounds director] Gabriele [Muccino] hosted us just outside of Rome in his town. We try to get them to experience how other people live. The grounded idea is more of a concept of how you relate to your service of mankind. That is what we try to impart to our children. You are a part of a whole, and you have a responsibility to uplift and be a positive influence, on the whole. We feel like that will help with the concept of grounding in this.

Will Smith, I Am Legend press junket, 2007

When they were younger, Willow and Jaden weren’t spoiled 

By the time Trey was 16, Jaden was already 10 and Willow was eight. Just a few years before, at the press junket for 2006’s The Pursuit of Happyness, Will was talking about giving his kids perspective on his parents’ wealth.

Willow Smith and Jaden Smith in New York City
Willow Smith and Jaden Smith | Raymond Hall/GC Images

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“My daughter says, ‘Daddy, are we rich?’” he said. “I say, ‘No, baby. You broke. Daddy works really hard. You don’t even own them clothes. So, mommy and daddy are going to teach you how to create a space where you have the life that you desire, but this is the life that mommy and daddy desired and we worked really hard to create this life for ourselves. But you’re going to have to create your own.’”

It’s clear it worked for Trey, and within two years that influence trickle down to Willow and Jaden, too.