Exclusive - Jada Pinkett Smith Extended Interview

September 20, 2016 - Jada Pinkett Smith 09/20/2016 Views: 4,815

Jada Pinkett Smith chats about her villainous role as Fish Mooney in "Gotham" and her passion for bringing more diversity into the entertainment industry. (8:13)

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Please welcomeJada Pinkett Smith.

(applause and cheering)

-Hey, handsome.-Wow.

-How are you?-How are you?

Thank you so muchfor being here.

-Thank you for having me.-No. Are you kidding?

This is... this is so exciting.I mean, even the crowd.

When I said, "Jada's joining ustoday," and everyone love...

-They were like, "What?!"-Yeah.

-"What?!"-(applause and cheering)

-They lost their minds.They lost their minds. -Nice.

-Welcome. Welcome.-Thank you.

Welcome to the show,and welcome back on Gotham.

I mean, we should talkabout that immediately.

How popular are youas a character

when you're in a showand you die,

and then they go,"No, you didn't die."?

-Right. -(laughter)-They're bringing you back.

Let me tell you, 'cause I...

The first season, literally,we made an agreement

-that I would helpbasically set up Penguin. -Yes.

So I was only supposedto do that season.

So, when it was over,it was over.

I was like,"Wow. I had a great time."

And then, second season,Bruno called me and said,

"We got to bring you back.

We're gonna raise youfrom the dead."

-People love you.-Yeah.

That's probably the greatestcompliment in TV

-is when they raise youfrom the dead. -Yeah.

-(laughter)-I would say that. -That is.

-Yeah, that really is.-Definitely. Definitely.

-It's, uh...-(applause)

You... you play a character thatI don't often see you playing,

-and that is, you're playinga villain in Gotham. -Yeah.

Is there a part of youthat enjoys being bad?

-Oh, yeah.-(laughter)

Big time. And I don't haveto apologize for it,

which is even better, you know?

It really does give mean opportunity

-to allow my shadow to playin a safe way. -Yeah.

But I mean, like,there are no limits with Fish.

I mean, she dug your own eye out

with a spoon,for crying out loud.

-Which... Yeah.-And then stepped on it.

So, I mean, this woman hasno limits whatsoever.

You know what's also excitingis that your character

was written specificallyfor the TV show.

-Yeah. -Like, other characterscame from comic books.

-So you do have no limits...-Absolutely.

...in that your charactercan do absolutely anything.

And that she's partof the Gotham world.

Like, I'm a hugecomic book fan.

And the fact thatwhen Bruno asked me

to be a part of the show,

and he says, "I really want usto collaborate together

to create this character,"I was like,

"You've got to be freakingkidding me!"

I mean, that is, uh,that is a dream come true.

So the fact that I was ableto not only

be a partof the-the Gotham mythology,

but I get to collaboratein creating this character!

-I mean, I totally geeked out.-(laughing)

I always do.

You-you are not a strangerto playing gangster characters.

I mean, like, in terms of,you know, badasses,

you-you have a historyof-of playing

some reallyinteresting characters.

You actually went back in time,now, to play, uh,

you know, in the movie with, uh,Queen Latifah.

-Slightly different, but...-Yeah.

You-you're doing another versionof the Trip, I guess.

Yeah, we, well, we did...

-Our first movie that we did20 years ago... -Yes.

How about that? 20 years ago.

-Which means you're now 23?-(laughing)

-Wow.-I wish, I wish.

But, yeah, 20 years ago we dida movie called Set It Off,

-Yes.-And then we just did

a comedy together called Girls Trip, in New Orleans.

And it was amazing.

We had such a great timetogether.

Is it... do you just clickimmediately?

Do you just go back into it?

Oh, absolute... well,'cause, first of all,

Queen and I are friends,and we've worked together,

um, off and on, for many years.

I mean, she's either in frontof the camera,

and I'm behind the camera,

or I'm in front of the camera,and she's behind the camera.

But it was the first timewe were on camera together,

again, um, in 20 years.

You-you-you arebehind the camera

a lot more than people realize.

You're involved in producing,you know,

you've gotyour production company.

You're involved in movies.

What do you prefer more and why?

Um, that's interesting.

I mean, I really love,uh, doing both. I really do.

I mean, I just love creating.

Any time that I havean opportunity

to exercise my creativity,

-it's a blast for me.-Yeah.

And I, and I con...I consider it a blessing.

I feel really blessedthat I-I get to make a living

off of what I love to do.

So any aspect of that,I just absolutely just...

I'm so grateful for.

You... created one videoin particular

that was huge.

That was...

That was duringthe, uh, Oscars So White.

-Right? -It was probably...Yeah, that was, uh,

that was probablymy-my biggest piece yet.

Yeah, that was a blockbuster.Blockbuster.

-It was blockbuster. -Fortho-for those who don't know,

I'm-I'm assuming everyone does,but, I mean, uh, you know, uh,

Jada made a-a video,uh, commenting on the fact

that the Oscars were so whiteand that there wasn't

enough recognition, uh,in huge contrast to the Emmys,

-for instance.-Right.

And, again, you know, theybragged about it. Rightfully so.

But not enough people of colorbeing recognized,

not enough films, not enoughcreativity from people of color

being, um...I guess, uh, acknowledged.

-That's right.-Being recognized.

From your side...People were quick to say,

-"Oh, but who are youto complain? -Mm-hmm.

"You were recognized,your husband

is one of the biggest starsin the world."

How do you respondto someone who says,

"Why are you complainingif you're at the top?"

Because I really believe thatit's part of our responsibility

to, um, illuminate, you know,

the lack of opportunityfor others.

And you can't just say...

Will is one person. One.

That's not enough.

So these opportunities

should be available to everyone.

-Yes.-So... And now...

tomorrow, in Brooklyn...

Now, see, I don't just talk,

but I walk the talk. I...You know what I'm saying?

-Yes, yes. -So I starteda new initiative,

Careers in Entertainment,where I'm reaching out

to opportunity youthto actually educate them

about different aspectsof professions

within the entertainmentindustry.

And to create liaison,networks,

professional development,so that young people

have an opportunityto participate in the industry.

This is actually reallyexciting, because I-I was

lucky enoughto be at the launch,

and what you were talking aboutwas really interesting,

because a lot of peoplestart charities and foundations

-and are very public about it.-Right.

Yourself and Will have beenflying under the radar

for so long, doing so much,using your own money...

-Yes. -unlike someorange people, and...


(cheering and applause)

And I think that's what makesthe foundation so special,

is because you've actually goneout there and you're saying,

"We want to teach young kids"--

who are not dissimilarto yourself and Will,

-who've come from inner cities---Absolutely.

"just everythingin the industry.

-Not just acting as well."-Yeah, it's-it's imperative.

I mean, I... On paper,if you look at my life,

um, I should not be here today.

I should be in jail or dead,

and that's just real talk.

But along the way,I had mentors.

Along the way,I had opportunities

that people gave me to show methat I could be a lot more

than what I thought I could be,living in Baltimore City

and running the streets.

And there are so manyyoung people in our country

that have so much potential

that just needjust a little help.

I'm not... It's, you know...And, at the end of the day,

I'm not asking to, you know,do the work for you.

I'm just asking to-to getan opportunity to these kids,

give them education,

so that they can havea real opportunity

to make a future for themselves.

And everybody deservesthat opportunity.

-Every single person.-(cheering and applause)

I, uh...

I, like everyone in this roomand everyone at home,

huge fans of what you do,huge fans of yourself,

your husband, your kids,your relationship, everything.

I noticed somethingthat's really interesting.

-You realize you're bothin the DC world now. -Yeah.

So there is a chance that youcould bump into your husband

-in the DC world.-Let me tell you something...

-Would you kill him?-No.

-Mm-mm. No.-(laughter)

But with this new powerthat Fish Mooney has,

-this mind control thingthat she's got, -Yeah.

ooh, she could dosome really nice things

-with Deadshot with that one.-(laughter)

I can't wait to find out.I can't wait to find out.

Gotham airs Monday nights,8:00 p.m./7:00 Central on Fox.

-Jada Pinkett Smith, everybody!-(cheering and applause)

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