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When the idea for an intimate sit-down initially came to Jada Pinkett Smith, it was meant to be a one-time thing. So with her mom, Adrienne, and then 11-year-old daughter, Willow, by her side, the cameras rolled on what would be their first Red Table Talk. After that, Pinkett Smith says, “We left it alone.”
That was seven years ago. Last spring the spark of her original concept was reignited when the first episode of Red Table Talk premiered on Facebook Watch. Taking on a range of topics and hosting special guests (including a very candid Will Smith), the multigenerational trio cultivated a new digital space all their own. And they got everybody else talking too. As the ladies prepared to embark on their much-anticipated next installments, ESSENCE spoke with each of them about inspiration, motivation and the life-changing benefits of having open, brave and honest conversations.
Jada, The Maverick
Ever since she burst onto the small screen and into our homes on A Different World nearly three decades ago, Pinkett Smith has been making bold moves. There are the movies and music, the advocacy and philanthropy work, and, of course, marriage and motherhood.
In every arena she marches to the beat of her own drum and is often one step ahead of us. With Red Table Talk, the 47-year-old actress invites us into her “home” and creates a digital space for a no-holds-barred exchange about life in all of its ebbs and flows.
“The whole purpose of the table is to have more understanding,” she says, “and with more understanding comes more freedom.”
… with more understanding comes more freedom.Jada
To read the full cover story, which features exclusive interviews with Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris, pick up the March issue of ESSENCE when it hits newsstands on February 22.
Photographer, Saint – @warwicksaint.
Stylist, Sammy K/The Only Agency – @sammykstyle.
Hair for Jada and Adrienne, Neeko/traceymattingly.com – @neekobackstage_.
Hair for Willow: Vernon François using Vernon François/The Visionaries Agency – @vernonfrancois.
Makeup for Jada: Leanne Hirsch using RMSBeauty/The Rex Agency – @leannehirshbeauty.
Makeup for Willow: Mylah Morales using Laura Mercier/Exclusive Artists – @mylahmorales.
Makeup for Adrienne: Steven Arturo/SixK.LA – @stevenaturo.
Manicure, Temeka Jackson using Chanel/nailglamproductions.com – @customtnails1.
Set design, John Geary/Celestine Agency – @johngearystudio.