Will Smith Says Jada Made Him a Better Person

Will Smith opened up about how he has maintained his 17-year marriage to wife and fellow thespian Jada Pinkett Smith during a speaking appearance in his hometown of Philadelphia, Pa.

Smith, 44, spoke about his idea of maintaining love successfully.

"I would say that concept is very central to having any success in this game of love at all. The central idea of love is not even a relationship commitment, the first thing is a personal commitment to be the best version of yourself with or without that person that you're with," Smith said at his recent appearance. "You have to every single day, mind, body, and spirit, wake up with a commitment to be better. Don't make that same mistake tomorrow that you made today."

The actor said he and his 41-year-old wife have maintained their marriage by allowing one another to grow, entertainment blogger Necole Kane, who was in attendance.

"The idea is that you are two people together, but in that process, the marriage cannot be a prison. There has to be a freedom that allows a person to grow," Smith explained. "A person has to be allowed to make mistakes, and a person has to be allowed to become and grow without the threat of punishment. I think that in the concept of our marriages because of our own insecurities, we lay it out in a way like, 'Hey, that's a deal breaker.'"

Smith, who shares two children with his wife, admitted that she has made him a better person throughout the years.

"Jada has made me a better person than anyone on earth could have ever done. There is nobody on Earth at this point that in my life and in my career with the successes and the things that I've done, there is nobody on Earth that I would still try to be better for," Smith continued. "Just her passion, power, and relentless unwillingness to let me lay down at night when I've only done 92 percent of what I was supposed to do that day, holds me to a higher standard."

In 2011, the couple made headlines amid speculation that they were heading for a divorce. Although they released a statement dispelling the rumors, the topic still circulated.

However, Smith said he does not let those types of stories bother him.

"For me with that type of stuff you can't take that personally. It's just a game," Smith told Access Hollywood last summer. "And it's funny I don't look at things as the upside or downside you know? It's just a part of the game, you know?"