Will Smith is one of the most successful actors in Hollywood. His multifaceted career has spanned decades, and he remains a favorite among critics and fans alike.
But for Smith, his family is his most important priority, and in a recent interview he explained how he had to learn a lot from his youngest child Willow, when it came to acting as a leader.
Willow stepped into the spotlight for the first time in 2012, but it was only shortly after that event that Smith found that his family was turning against him.
“[I] secretly call  the year of the mutiny,” Smith revealed. “And 2012 was really the year that my family rejected the direction of my leadership. And that was the main thing that happened.”
He explained that a lot of the issues were based on how he was treating his family the way his own father treated him.
“[Willard Carroll Smith Sr.] dealt with the family like a soldier. I was used to the whole family working the family business and being run like a military unit. You follow orders, you have goals, you achieve things and there’s punishment from the higher ranks if you don’t do what you are told to do.”
But Smith learned that his family, including wife Jada Pinkett Smith, and his three children, Trey, Jayden, and Willow, weren't enjoying his claim of, “I am the leader, and the way that we win is by everyone doing what I say."
It was actually the youngest, Willow, who rebelled against her father, shortly after her first single "Whip My Hair" came out.
“Willow was really the first person during “Whip My Hair” that decided she didn’t want to do what I said,” Smith said. “Because she was the baby girl, she really had the most power over me. As a man – if your daughter says no, there’s really nothing you can do.”
She was only 10 years old at the time, but she quickly realized that being a singer wasn't the dream she thought it would be.
"But I didn’t really understand what my dream entailed,” Willow revealed.
Smith admitted that was when he realized that his way of growing up wasn't going to work for his kids. “She really tested me. She was like, no she didn’t want to. She was done with “Whip My Hair.” She was done with performing, and as a protest, she shaved her head bald," Smith explained. "That was really the first time that I realized that my family wasn’t happy with the direction that I was taking them.”
Willow took a stand against her father who encouragement came off as "harsh" but she admitted she has since forgiven him.
“I definitely had to forgive you and daddy for that whole ‘Whip My Hair’ thing. It was mostly daddy because he was so harsh at certain times,” she said in an interview with her mother and grandmother.
“It was a couple of years, honestly," Willow continued. "Trying to regain trust for not feeling like I was being listened to or like no one cared how I felt."
In the end she accepted that her parents were, at least on some level, trying to help but she also had to deal with her guilt. "I had to forgive myself because I felt guilty because everyone is trying to make me better, trying to make my dream."
The Smith family seems to have become even closer thanks to all of these trials, so at least they all have each other.
Source - People