Into the Matrix of Jaden and Willow
It's like Jaden and Willow Smith knew I was having a sh-tty week. It's like they collectively decided to pose for an UNREAL post-apocalyptic photo spread and take part in a new joint feature in Interview magazine as a gift, specifically for me. It's Jaden and Willow in all of their Smithian weirdo glory in a conversation with Pharrell. Willow, Jaden and PHARRELL. You don't understand how much I needed this.
The interview starts with Pharrell asking Willow what's on her mind. This is how she responds:
“This morning actually was pretty intense because I was thinking about the world and my place in the world, things that I have made or want to make. I was thinking about all the things that I could do that I don't do. But, you know, I was just thinking about the world and everything. “
It is probably exhausting being Willow’s best friend but I’ll take the job anyway. This answer sets the tone for one of my favourite conversations I have ever read. I laughed out loud multiple times. I’m not sure that’s what Jaden and Willow were going for but I’d like to think I’m laughing with them, not at their “matrix of seeming contradictions.” That’s a direct quote from the feature’s intro that pretty much sums up the Smiths.
It’s easy to laugh when Jaden jokes that Willow has always been better than him at everything. Or when Willow recalls a fan walking up to her on the street and asking, “Is this real life?” and Willow, with the utmost sincerity, tells her, “No.” It wasn’t me but damn, I wish it was. And just when I thought my obsession with Willow couldn’t get unhealthier, she goes and reveals that she loves Buffy The Vampire Slayer. It’s completely normal that I want to be best friends with a 15 year old, right?
When Pharrell asks Willow and Jaden where they see themselves in 10 years, it sounds like they both want to be retired. In 10 years, Willow will be 25 and Jaden will be 28. It may be absurd but it’s a part of the conversation I love so much, I have to copy in its entirety so you can appreciate it for yourself.
PHARRELL: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
WILLOW: [laughs] Did you just say, "God"?
JADEN: I said, "Gone!"
WILLOW: I feel that. I see myself in the mountains somewhere in a tent cooking a squirrel. [laughs]
JADEN: Not a squirrel, Willow! Why!? Why a squirrel?
WILLOW: I don't know! Because that's probably going to be the only food I have.
JADEN: Nah, you're going to be a vegetarian. You'll be surviving off grass in the morning.
WILLOW: Hopefully. Yeah, bro! I want to retreat back to living off the land and just being in nature, experiencing life in the most pure, natural way possible.
It’s hilarious. It’s also fascinating that two millennials are daydreaming about a future with, in Willow’s case, no technology and in Jaden’s, no notoriety. This is coming from two of the most famous kids born of the Instagram Star era. They talk about their generation’s obsession with their phones and social media. According to Willow, she and Jaden want to, “utilize social media to elevate the consciousness of those people who feel like all they want from social media is to be famous.”
We can make fun of them but this is actually a very grounded and self-aware sentiment coming from a 15 year-old. Let’s ignore that she actually said “elevate the consciousness” though.
Of course, Willow and Jaden talk about their parents Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith. They both cite their parents as their biggest inspirations and the reason they both want to make a positive change in the world. Willow breaks it down like this:
“What my parents have given to me is not anything that has to do with money or success or anything that society says people should be focusing on—it's something spiritual that only certain people can grasp and accept. And that's how I act and move in the world today.”
I won’t pretend I can grasp or accept anything the enlightened beings in the Smith family choose to share with us mere mortals but I can understand the best piece of advice Willow says she ever received from her mom:
"Do you, boo boo."
Please keep doing you Willow, boo. And Jaden too.
I’ll shut up now so you can just stare at the pretty pictures. Click here to see.