Will Smith opened up about his non-monogamous marriage with Jada Pinkett-Smith in a new interview with GQ. Speaking to the publication, Smith admitted he and Pinkett Smith had been monogamous for a “large part of their relationship” until the pair re-evaluated traditional marriage.
“Jada never believed in conventional marriage,” explained Smith, who has been married to Pinkett Smith for almost 24 years. “Jada had family members that had an unconventional relationship. So she grew up in a way that was very different than how I grew up.”
Smith went on to say their unconventional relationship has given the couple “trust and freedom” and that “marriage for us can’t be a prison”.
Last year, the couple’s marriage fell under public scrutiny after rapper August Alsina claimed Will Smith gave him “his blessing” to have a relationship with Pinkett Smith. While the claims were denied at first, she later admitted to a “kind of entanglement” with the rapper on her Red Table Talk web show.
Pinkett Smith admitted to the relationship but denied some details of Alsina’s account. “The only person who could give permission in that particular circumstance was myself,” she said of her husband giving ‘permission. “I think he wanted to make it clear that he’s not a homewrecker. Which he’s not.”
‘We were both miserable’ admits Will Smith
In an excerpt from his upcoming memoir, Will, obtained by GQ, Smith admitted their relationship was on the rocks prior to the change of lifestyle.
“Our marriage wasn’t working,” wrote Smith. “We could no longer pretend. We were both miserable and clearly something had to change.”
However, Smith wanted to stress that every marriage is different, and what works for them may not work for everyone. Speaking to GQ, Smith explained, “I don’t suggest this road for anybody. But the experiences that the freedoms that we’ve given one another and the unconditional support, to me, is the highest definition of love.”
Why Will Smith refused to do films about slavery
During the interview, Smith revealed there was one type of movie he was avoiding early on in his career. “I’ve always avoided making films about slavery,” Smith told GQ. “In the early part of my career… I didn’t want to show black people in that light.”
“I wanted to be a superhero,” the Men in Black star admitted. “So I wanted to depict black excellence alongside my white counterparts. I wanted to play roles that you would give to Tom Cruise.”
When Quentin Tarantino’s critically acclaimed action-western Django Unchained was announced in 2012, Smith was tipped as the titular former slave. Smith said of the role, “The first time I considered it was Django [Unchained], but I didn’t want to make a slavery film about vengeance.”
Smith ultimately turned down the role, which went to Jamie Foxx. Smith previously elaborated on his decision in 2015 during a discussion with The Hollywood Reporter. “It was about the creative direction of the story,” he said. That idea is perfect. And it was just that Quentin and I couldn’t see [eye to eye]. I wanted to make the greatest love story that African-Americans had ever seen.”
Smith also explained that he felt “it had to be a love story, not a vengeance story. I don’t believe in violence as the reaction to violence.”
Will Smith’s memoir, Will, is set for release on November 9, 2021.