During Red Table Talk‘s Father’s Day special, which premiered on Facebook Watch on Sunday, June 21, Will and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, discussed many moments he has experienced since becoming a father to his three children: Trey, Jaden, and Willow.
According to Hollywood Life, Will recalled one of the moments Willow surprised him by shaving the hair off of her head for the first time back in 2012. He said the then-10-year-old’s choice was something he had trouble accepting and felt it was a rebellion against his plans to make her a pop music sensation.
“She destroyed all of my belief systems,” Will recalled. “It was so devastating to me when she shaved her head bald. Because her record is ‘Whip My Hair’! I’m like, ‘That’s a protest against me!’ Whether it was or wasn’t that is a brilliant thing to do. I took that as a sign from the Gods that I was like, this little girl is rejecting what I’m trying to do for her. She doesn’t want it.”
Willow found success as a singer back in 2010. She released her first single, “Whip My Hair,” which achieved massive success at the time. Soon after, Willow was signed to Roc Nation and made history as the youngest person on the label.
Although she was on her way to becoming a major pop star, Willow decided to change the direction of her career in 2012. In addition to cutting her hair, she told her parents that she didn’t want to become a child star, which Will said was hard for him to understand at the time.
“It was like she made music, she enjoyed it and she was finished,” he said. “She was crying. She was scared. But what she wasn’t going to do is do something that she didn’t want to do.”
The Gemini Man actor then admitted he had his own plans for Willow and didn’t focus on the plans she had for herself during the height of her music career. After the era caused a strain in their relationship, he said he knew he needed to fall back and let his daughter make her own choices in terms of the music she wanted to put out.
During their discussion, Jada said she felt it was “pretty gangster” to see their child take over and rebel against what Will thought she should do.
After taking a step back from music, Willow returned with an alternative R&B sound and has been staying in that lane ever since. In March, she and Tyler Cole released The Anxiety. The 10-track album was created after the two spent 24 hours in a museum, per CNN. Willow also shaved her head for the second time as part of an art exhibit.