The indescribably fabulous Jada Pinkett Smith hit the cover of Haute Living New York, giving us the inside scoop on why she took the role of a strip club owner in the upcoming Magic Mike XXL movie. It was no surprise to us that Channing Tatum charmed her into the gig, obviously.
The 43-year-old actress opened up about her role in the movie and her philosophy as an actress in the Dan Flood–shot spread. In regards to Magic Mike XXL, Smith says she was inspired by Tatum’s eagerness to tackle a relatively taboo topic. She says the fact that Tatum had the guts to take on a touchy subject, so to speak, made her much more tempted to take on the role.
She told Haute Living:
“One of the biggest selling points for accepting this role was Channing saying – and I’m not quoting – that there is a way to make the adult entertainment industry responsible.”
Smith says people often comment on how she always plays strong women, and according to the spunky actress, it’s for good reason. She admits honestly that playing the badass b*tch might just be her “thing,” as she tends to gravitate towards strength energy lines.
“I have no idea how not to be strong, and I don’t know if I have the desire to.”
With that said, Smith says she did use her mobster role in XXL as an opportunity to portray another kind of strength other than the typical hardness that is usually associated with being “tough.”
“What I tried to do with Rome is communicate strength differently—from a place that is a lot more feminine—a bit more soft and open.”
Jada believes that being open to new experiences and different types of roles is key to having a successful, interesting career. At this point in her life, exploration is her focus. She says that had she stuck to limited, fixed goals, she would never have ended up participating in some of her favorite projects, like Gotham and Magic Mike XXL.
“There is a certain freedom that I have in my life now that I haven’t had in the past. I think it has to do with having the time to grow and shed old ideas that I no longer need—and just trusting!”
When it comes to staying “high fash,” Smith says dressing the part is just the start. Changing hairstyles is one of her favorite ways to show the various facets of her personality, and her constantly changing sense of style.
She uses hairstyles and fashion differently than everyone else, telling Haute Living:
“For me it is an expression of the different personalities of Jada – how I am feeling at the moment. I tend to be that girl – I may want to look like a punk-rocker and use my hair and clothing to express that.”
Check out Jada looking like an absolute goddess in this Ralph Lauren dress.
Read Smith’s full cover story in Haute Living here, and have a look at some behind the scenes footage from the photoshoot in Santa Monica below.