Will Smith is a charismatic star best known for his work in TV, film, and music, but it’s clear that another role means more to him than his longtime career: dad. The actor, 52, has three children: Trey, 30, whom he shares with his ex-wife Sheree Zampino, and Willow, 22, and Jaden, 25, whom he shares with his estranged wife Jada Pinkett Smith. Will, 55, and Jada, 52, got married in 1997 and separated in 2016, which was revealed by Jada in her memoir Worthy.
Will has been vocal about how transformative fatherhood has been. In June 2020, he appeared on Jada’s Red Table Talk and revealed he had fatherhood instincts even as a young boy — ones that stemmed from his own father’s “deficiencies.” He said, “From the time I was 6 years old, I wanted to be a father. I loved how my family was, but there were massive critical deficiencies in my father’s parenting that I wanted to correct.”
“By the time I was 10 years old, I remember looking at my father and thinking I could do it better than him,” Will continued. He also reflected on the emotional moment of becoming a father for the first time at the age of 24 with Trey. “I think that was my first moment of the real weight of parenting,” he recalled. “I brought him home, and I remember we put him in the bassinet, and it was like stark terror. It was like, ‘I’m totally responsible for this life.’ I just cried so hard.”
The star has always spoken candidly about his relationship with his children, including the difficult times. Below is everything you should know about the actor’s three children, whose impressive careers are not so different from their famous father’s.
At 28, Trey, born Willard Carroll Smith III, is Will’s firstborn and oldest child. Like his dad, Trey also works in the music and entertainment business. He has starred in TV shows like All Of Us and music videos alongside his siblings Jaden and Willow, including “Find You Somewhere” by AcE featuring his brother and sister. He also has his own music career, releasing the album Best Wishes last year. Will has been candid about his previously fractured relationship with his son following his divorce from Trey’s mom, Sheree.
In an Instagram post shared in 2018, Will said he and Trey “struggled for years.” The actor wrote, “He felt betrayed & abandoned. It is a Wild Blessing to recover & restore a Loving Relationship with My Beautiful Son!” Now, Trey has a good relationship with his dad, whom he has called his “best friend,” as well as his step-siblings and Jada, whom he has referred to as his “bonus mom.” The young actor has shared snapshots of his mom and bonus mom on social media and gushed about them.
At 25, Jaden is Will and Jada’s first child together and Will’s second son. Like his father and his siblings, Jaden is in the music and entertainment business, but primarily focusing on music these days. He made his acting debut in his dad’s 2006 drama film The Pursuit of Happyness, starring opposite his dad again a few years later in the 2013 apocalyptic film After Earth. He also starred in the 2010 remake of The Karate Kid and did voice-over for the Netflix series Neo Yokio. Jaden’s focus lately has been on music, recently releasing his last album CTV3: Cool Tape Vol. 3 last August. A frequent collaborator with his musician sister, too, Jaden and Willow have released a few songs together, including “Summertime in Paris,” and “U KNOW.”
In an interview with Vanity Fair in 2016, Will called his youngest son “fearless” and revealed how that could sometimes be terrifying as a parent. “Jaden is 100 percent fearless. He will do anything,” the actor said. “So as a parent it’s scary, it’s really terrifying — but he is completely willing to live and die by his own artistic decisions and he just doesn’t concern himself with what people think.”
At 22, Willow is Will and Jada’s youngest child and Will’s only daughter. Like her father, Willow is a multi-hyphenate: singer, actress, rapper, and dancer. Willow made her acting debut alongside her dad in his 2007 sci-fi horror film I Am Legend and has since gone on to star in other films, including Kit Kittredge: An American Girl and Madagascar 2. Willow hosted Red Table Talk with her mom and grandmother Adrienne Banfield-Norris for a few years. Willow has also been growing her music career, which began with her debut single “Whip My Hair” back in 2010. She released her fourth studio album Lately I Feel Everything in July 2021. An alternative album, it even features a track with Travis Barker. Her fifth album, Coping Mechanism, came out in October 2022.
In his Red Table Talk interview with Jada in June 2022, Will revealed that Willow’s infamous moment of shaving her head in protest during her “Whip My Hair” tour was a turning point for him as a father. Of Willow’s desire to quit her tour and his “military response” to finish what she started, he said, “My desire for her was overriding her desire for her, and I had a real epiphany on that and how bad a person will hate you if you keep forcing your wishes onto their life.” He said his daughter “introduced me to feelings.”