Will Smith and his son Jaden are on the cover of this week's New York magazine. They're co-stars in the new movie After Earth, in which they sport bizarre accents, crash a ship on post-human-civilization Earth 1,000 years in the future, and try to fight off fully-evolved monkey-beasts. Their names are Cypher and Kitai Raige. Is that weird? Yes, it is weird. But it is not as weird as the interview between Will and Jaden and Claire Hoffman. Claire Hoffman is fine, but Will and Jaden are basically pop-cosmo-physicists and you should expect them to launch their own religion within the next year or two. But before that happens, here is a step-by-step guide to living like Will and Jaden.
1. Everything Is Part of One Giant Equation
Will: I’m a student of patterns. At heart, I’m a physicist. I look at everything in my life as trying to find the single equation, the theory of everything.
2. We, However, Are Not Smart Enough to Yet Solve Said Equation
Jaden: I think that there is that special equation for everything, but I don’t think our mathematics have evolved enough for us to even—I think there’s, like, a whole new mathematics that we’d have to learn to get that equation.
Will: I agree with that.
Jaden: It’s beyond mathematical. It’s, like, multidimensional mathematical, if you can sort of understand what I’m saying.
3. There Is No Religion (Presumably Because Will and Jaden Are Yet to Reveal Theirs)
Will: No, we are students of world religion.
4. "Patterns, boom"
Jaden: It’s kind of like father and son, except that we’re both going to work together. [Points to his dad.] Like you worked in your family business with your dad. I’m just working in my family business with my dad. Patterns, boom.
5. You Wanna Be Famous? Be Awesome (and Have Famous Parents).
Will: [Mimicking] “So how do you think your life is similar or un-similar to people’s names in Calabasas?” For our family, the entire structure of our life, our home, our business relationships—the entire purpose is for everyone to be able to create in a way that makes them happy. Fame is almost an inconsequential by-product of what we’re really trying to accomplish. We are trying to put great things into the world, we’re trying to have fun, and we’re trying to become the greatest versions of ourselves in the process of doing things we love. So the idea of fame or exploitation or orchestrating the media is sometimes even less than desirable for us.
6. Do Whatever You Want. Respect. But I Don't Care About You if What You Choose to Do Is Value-less. But Respect.
Will: I think it was in Edward Kennedy’s autobiography, he said that he hadn’t found his way in his life, and his father sat down with him and said, We are a family that are trying to have valuable lives. You are allowed to decide whether or not you want your life to be valuable to the world, and I respect that decision. I’m just not going to have a lot of time for you. Essentially that is my position with my children. You can choose anything that you want to do, anything you want to be, and you can decide you want to act crazy and run around. I respect your ability to choose a life for yourself that does not have value to the world. I respect that. I’m just not going have a lot of time for you.
7. Alphabetize, and Write the Next Great American Graphic Novel
Is it true that you alphabetized your laser discs?
Will: Yeah, I’m very, very serious about systems supporting creative inspiration.
8. Aesop's Fables and Ted Talks Are the Answer
Will: Our kids get an earful around the house just on every topic, every subject.
Jaden: If I’m with my friends, and they’ll be like, “Oh, hey, where’s your dad? Let’s go say hi.” And I’ll be like, “Oh, no. He’s watching hours and hours of TED Talks just ... dude, don’t go in there.” Last time I went in there, he said, “Jaden, so the art of telling stories is an art that you really have to learn. I want you to read Aesop’s Fables.” “Dad, I’ve read Aesop’s Fables three times.” “Honestly, you can’t read it enough.” But when you’re on your way to see a 9:15 movie and it’s nine o’clock, he’s like, “Wait, wait, Jaden, I need to tell you something about life, man.”
Go read the whole thing. They all, all the Smiths, seem to love each other, which is great! Still, if this is some Joaquin Phoenix-esque shit, it would not be surprising. After Earth could certainly use the help.