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Q&A: Jada Pinkett Smith chats 'HawthoRNe'!

Monday, April 4 2011, 15:05 BST
By Catriona Wightman, TV Reporter

Jada Pinkett Smith is a very busy woman. The actress doesn't just star in the medical drama HawthoRNe, but she executive produces it as well. And of course she spends a lot of time with her rather famous family - Will, Jaden and Willow. HawthoRNe's premiering in the UK on brand new channel Sony Entertainment Television this week, so we popped along to the launch where Jada told reporters about the show, her character Christina, working with Will and looking after her children...

What attracted you to HawthoRNe?
"One of the reasons why I decided to participate in HawthoRNe was I really wanted the opportunity to show how ordinary people do extraordinary things. Even when they come into institutions like [the show's hospital] Trinity and have their own problems, their own obstacles to deal with, at the end of the day when we see people in need we all come together and do our best."

Christina's quite strict with her daughter - are you a strict mother?
"No! I really don't have that type of relationship with my children. The mother-daughter dynamic in HawthoRNe has pieces that I've taken from the dynamic that my mother and I had. She was a nurse as well and she was a single parent. I must say, I was a pretty difficult teenager - more so than the daughter in HawthoRNe! So a lot of the situations and circumstances are based on real life with my mother and I, and she was very much like that - 'do as I say'."

So what is your relationship with your children like?
"I really look at children as being little people and not necessarily things or people to control. I think it's important that proper parenting is helping kids develop to become individuals, because it's not our job to make them think how we think or do the things that we would do. It's about finding out who they are and enhancing their individuality but at the same token creating boundaries that keep them safe."

Willow was getting style tips from Lady GaGa recently - how do you feel about that? And do you get any tips from Willow?
"She is blazing. It's funny, I love that she has her affinity for Lady GaGa. Lady GaGa has a lot of affinity for Willow, and so she has her relationships that I think are very good for her development. She goes in my closet and steals all my clothes. It's to the point now where she can wear my pants and my jackets and then she tells me what things I need to get rid of that are old so I pretty much listen to that. She says, 'You should let me take this and then I can cut it up and do something with it'. So she pretty much takes my stuff and recreates for her. She doesn't really do anything for me!"

Do you worry that she's growing up too quickly?
"It's very interesting because I don't think of it as being an adult mentality. I think that's one of the things we have to start being careful of - what is childlike thinking and what adult thinking is, especially when it comes to being creative. She's just simply being creative."

Are you similar to Christina?
"When I believe in something, I'm very passionate. I don't take no for an answer. And when it comes to the team that I work with, I fight very hard for my group. I try to help people win. I hope I'm not as controlling as Christina! I have worked on that a lot."

Can you relate to Christina, who struggles to balance work and family?
"I think with Christina her biggest issue is that she's afraid of intimacy, so you have a woman who tries to connect to her patients in a more intimate manner than she's comfortable with connecting to people actually very close to her, like her daughter. She's had a lot of trauma in her life, which will be revealed much later and is why Christina has a very difficult time creating substantial relationships with the people who are closest to her. The difference with me and Christina is I'm very clear what my priorities are. Cristina's priorities are pretty much out of balance. My priority is my family and when you're very clear about what your priorities are, when the hard times come you already know the answer - there's no struggle."

How do you manage being both the star and the executive producer of the show?
"It's really difficult. I don't know that I'd ever do it again! I think I'd like to be just one or the other. As an executive producer you have to deal with a lot of the admin of the show... As an actor you really just get to focus on your role. So it's very difficult in balancing it, juggling those two hats and staying creative. At the same time, sometimes you have to put the suit on and figure out what's best for the show... I actually love them both... It's just difficult doing them both at the same time."

HawthoRNe's been handed a third season, hasn't it?
"What a blessing. It truly is a blessing, especially being an African American woman, because there aren't really any African american women on television with their own shows."

Do you feel a responsibility to present ethnic minorities on TV?
"In our second season we went really strong with it. I just want to have a television show that represents the world... That you could watch this show and no matter who you are - male, female, whatever nationality, whatever economic background - you feel like you're in the mix of this world somewhere. A lot of times when you watch TV it's one world of some kind. And hospitals are that way - it's a mishmash of everyone and everything - so I wanted this to represent that."

You've described your husband Will as a 'ghost producer' before, haven't you?
"Yes, my husband is a big time ghost producer! I had our head writer here just getting the first three episodes of HawthoRNe tight and [Will] just called me yesterday and he was like, 'OK, I need the head writer to fly to New York by Thursday because I have some more notes on the upcoming episodes, I've got the outlines'. He is a master structuralist as far as story is concerned - there's no-one better in the business than him in my opinion. He understands the pulse of what people want to see, how to create the maximum emotional impact. Starting last year he was very, very involved in HawthoRNe, so he's been my knight in shining armour."

Are you good at working together?
"Oh, it gets sticky! It's not easy working with your husband, I'll be straight up about that. But when we work together we always get great product. It's not easy in the process and as we go along it gets easier, but yeah, it gets a little sticky."

How have nurses reacted to the show?
"My mother's a nurse and she wrote me a five-page email on all the things that she felt needed to be adjusted in the first year! So I actually got new medical advisers for the second year, so I knew we had at least done our job as far as all the details of being a nurse. I went to visit a few hospitals and we had a lot of nurses that were very happy because they felt like they were sexualised a lot in television programmes and they weren't taken seriously and they felt like HawthoRNe represents them in a different way, so I was happy about that."

Did you want to include the politics of healthcare in the show?
"We're taking it a little further in the third season because that is one of the primary issues in the States right now. I felt like it didn't make sense to have a medical programme and not deal with those issues and have audience members who are watching it relating to what is happening with people in the medical industry every day. It's really sad and this year we're diving into it a bit more heavily."

So will Cristina be coming under more pressure in the third season?
"Cristina in the third season is going to be a heck of a ride! She's got a lot on her plate personally and professionally. We pull a lot of true life stories this year that we've actually heard that we found really represented the message that we were trying to get across this year. We've got some very, very strong issues to deal with."

HawthoRne begins on Thursday at 8pm on Sony Entertainment Television.

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/ustv/tubetalk/a312297/qa-jada-pinkett-smith-chats-hawthorne.html

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Willows got some guts peforming live in front of that crowd, i cant believe the difference in Jadens voice too, in just a few months hes sounds completely different.

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Puberty is hitting him hard. I hope he doesnt turn into another Trey. lol. BTW Jada loves Willows affinity to Lady Gaga. Wow.. A role model who gets high before writing her songs or performing live..

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Puberty is hitting him hard. I hope he doesnt turn into another Trey. lol. BTW Jada loves Willows affinity to Lady Gaga. Wow.. A role model who gets high before writing her songs or performing live..

c'mon now, you say that like she's a fan of her drug use.

Jada loved Pac and we all know how high he got, doesn't mean there was nothing about him to like or admire.

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I doubt very much that Willow knows about Lady Gagas drug use, i dont even know a lot about it myself. Some may disagree but Willow is like a mini Gaga, the way she dresses, her individuality etc.

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"You've described your husband Will as a 'ghost producer' before, haven't you?
"Yes, my husband is a big time ghost producer! I had our head writer here just getting the first three episodes of HawthoRNe tight and [Will] just called me yesterday and he was like, 'OK, I need the head writer to fly to New York by Thursday because I have some more notes on the upcoming episodes, I've got the outlines'. He is a master structuralist as far as story is concerned - there's no-one better in the business than him in my opinion. He understands the pulse of what people want to see, how to create the maximum emotional impact. Starting last year he was very, very involved in HawthoRNe, so he's been my knight in shining armour."

This has been Will's biggest problem the last couple years....He thinks he knows better than everyone else, including seasoned directs and writers. It is spreading through Hollywood that while a nice guy, he is a terror to work with.

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"You've described your husband Will as a 'ghost producer' before, haven't you?

"Yes, my husband is a big time ghost producer! I had our head writer here just getting the first three episodes of HawthoRNe tight and [Will] just called me yesterday and he was like, 'OK, I need the head writer to fly to New York by Thursday because I have some more notes on the upcoming episodes, I've got the outlines'. He is a master structuralist as far as story is concerned - there's no-one better in the business than him in my opinion. He understands the pulse of what people want to see, how to create the maximum emotional impact. Starting last year he was very, very involved in HawthoRNe, so he's been my knight in shining armour."

This has been Will's biggest problem the last couple years....He thinks he knows better than everyone else, including seasoned directs and writers. It is spreading through Hollywood that while a nice guy, he is a terror to work with.

Radewart,I couldn't agree with you more :-)!!!

Will is great,of course,but at my opinion he really think that he knows everything better than anybody else!That's why many people (I mean many people I know)don't like him the way they used to.He read the screept,wasn't happy and order that writer fly to NY?!That is really little too much.

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http://movies.yahoo.com/photos/collections/gallery/3328/father--son-dynamic-duos#photo0

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Jada Pinkett Smith - Hawthorne interview

Actress Jada Pinkett Smith discusses playing chief nursing officer Christina Hawthorne in the medical drama Hawthorne and her role in the making the television series.

Besides playing the title character on the Sony Entertainment Television medical series Hawthorne, Jada Pinkett Smith executive-produces the show through her production company, 100% Women.

Here the multi-talented actress discusses the medical drama, for which her mother was an inspiration.

VIDEO!

Edited by Ale

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Willow Smith's Album Is Coming 'Very Soon,' Teyana Taylor Reveals

Songs are 'very her,' Taylor says at 'Madea's Big Happy Family' premiere.

With the crazy amount of success, downloads and radio plays derived from Willow Smith's chart-smashing "Whip My Hair" and follow-up single, "21st Century Girl," the precocious little 10-year-old has a lot of people wondering exactly when she'll drop a full-length album.

According to musician/actress Teyana Taylor, who is writing a few tracks for Smith, that release date is inching closer and closer, and fans of "Whip My Hair" will love what they hear.

At the premiere of "Madea's Big Happy Family" on Tuesday night, Taylor told MTV News of her work with Smith, "It's coming along great — very her. When you hear it, you're gonna love it."

Though she's grown up in and around Hollywood, with her parents being Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow is still a newbie to the music biz. Taylor, who appeared on MTV's hit "My Super Sweet 16," said she sees a little of herself in the young Ms. Smith.

"She reminds me of a little me," Taylor said. "I love her style. She's amazing, so [i'm] very excited."

Taylor revealed that the tracks she is working on will be in the same vein as Smith's previous singles, describing them as "up-tempo, fun, dance, young, fresh, new, in the now."

And when we might hear that album? "Very soon," Taylor promised. "Sooner than you know."

Smith has been a very busy bee over the past few months. Since releasing "21st Century Girl" and its video, she has been touring Europe with Justin Bieber.

http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1662378/willow-smith-album-teyana-taylor.jhtml

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