Willow Smith, 12-year-old singer, actress and daughter of entertainers Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith, will not star in the remake of Annie as reported two years ago, and her father has admitted he may be to blame.
The Smith patriarch recently opened up about his daughter wanting to back away from entertainment while speaking at Temple University with author Sister Souljah for "Real Talk with Sister Souljah and Will Smith." Although Smith was on hand to help the author promote her new book, "A Deeper Love Inside: The Porsche Santiaga Story," he seemed to hold little back when speaking about Willow.
Although Variety reported that the budding actress and singer would star in a remake of the Annie movie which would be produced by her family's Overbrook Entertainment production company, Smith admitted that his daughter preferred to slow things down and enjoy her childhood.
"In the past 18 months, I have spent a lot of time focusing on the emotional aspect of my life and my family. 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," Smith told the Temple University crowd. "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."
According to the 44-year-old actor and father, the most important thing is to make sure that his daughter is doing something that she loves.
"You focus so hard on those things, and sometimes you can lose focus on why you are doing it in the first place," Smith said. "The only reason to do any of that is to have love."
Smith admitted that his daughter began having a difficult time with show business when she was expected to do the Annie movie.
"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,'" Smith revealed to the Temple University crowd. "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.'"
The actor admitted that he learned a valuable lesson from his youngest child.
"I'm really learning through Willow the necessity that we have to snap ourselves back and refocus on the emotional needs of the people that we love," Smith said at the Philadelphia University. "Someone's emotional needs can be very very different from your dreams and what you think they should be doing and where they are supposed to be."
Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, also revealed the importance of letting people live their own dreams in a cryptic Facebook message that she posted last month.
"Someone we say we love should NEVER be forced to choose having your love and support over having their dreams. There is a way to have BOTH," she wrote on her personal Facebook page. "The scary part is that most of the time we may be infringing on the dreams of others in order to fulfill a dream of our own. Partnership, parenting, marriage should reflect the desire to help each other build fulfilling lives for all parties involved."