Last week it was reported that Willow Smith dropped out of the Annie remake to be produced by her dad, Will Smith’s, company.
During a promotional appearance at Philly’s Temple University, in support of Sister Soulja’s new book, A Deeper Love Inside: The Porsche Santiaga Story, Smith explained why his daughter is no longer attached to the project.
In a nutshell, things went from 0 to 60 with his children. “In the past 18 months, I have spent a lot of time focusing on the emotional aspect of my life and my family,” he said. “In 2010, in one year, our family had the Karate Kid. we had ‘Whip my Hair,’ we had Hawthorne, and at the end of the year, we did the Nobel Concert when Barack Obama won his Nobel Peace Prize.”
Before the crowd moved to give an ovation, the father of three explained how hard the hectic schedule has been. “Don’t be clapping yet, that wears you out. The thing that had become very clear to me is the danger of a material world and focusing so hard on coming up with money or a house or a job. You focus so hard on those things, and sometimes you can lose focus on why you are doing it in the first place. The only reason to do any of that is to have love.”
As the public may have seen from her posts online, some of which have been deemed questionable for a child her age, Willow needed some time off. “Willow was supposed to be doing ‘Annie,’ we got Jay-Z to do the movie, got the studio to come in and Willow had such a difficult time on tour with ‘Whip my Hair’ and she said, ‘You know Daddy, I don’t think so’ and I said, ‘Baby, hold up! I said no,no,no, listen, you’ll be in New York with all of your friends and Beyoncé will be there. You will be singing and dancing,’ and she looked at me and said, ‘Daddy, I have a better idea, how about I just be 12.’”
Smith said that Willow is teaching him and the family how to “snap ourselves back and refocus on the emotional needs of the people that we love.”
No replacement for Willow has been named.
Photo: Berthold Stadler