Jada Pinkett Smith, the wife of Will Smith, is making a name for herself in her hit TNT show, Hawthorne. Taking the central role in the series, Smith focuses on the importance of taking on a lead female role on the big screen. “I think in Hollywood in general right now, leading roles for women is a very difficult thing,” she told Uinterview exclusively. “I feel very blessed to have this opportunity.”

Named after her mother’s favorite soap opera actress, Jada Rowland, Smith had a strong passion for performing arts at a young age. She was enrolled in tap dancing, piano, and ballet lessons, and later on attended the Baltimore School for the arts. She enrolled into the North Carolina School of the Arts to continue her education and begin her career in the acting business. She finally broke into the acting industry in 1990 when she starred in an episode of True Colors, a comedy sitcom on Fox. She acted alongside Wayans in the comedy film, A Low Down Dirty Shame, in which she played the role of Peaches, Wayan’s annoying sidekick. She is also very popular for her role as supporting character, Niobe in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions in 2003.

In Hawthorne, which premiered in 2009, Smith plays Christina Hawthorne, a Chief Nursing Officer at Richmond Trinity Hospital, later moving into James Rivers Hospital. The show focuses on Hawthorne's efforts to adjust to the new work environment and on her relationship with Dr. Tom Wakefield.

Smith plays a central role not only in her hit series, but as a central role to all women in the film industry. “I wanted to be in partnership with TNT because they were focusing on creating very strong leading roles for women,” Smith said.


Q: You're one of the only African-American women to have had a leading role in a Prime Time dramatic series. What do you think about that fact in this day and age? - Uinterview

Well it's definitely interesting. I think that's one of the reasons why I wanted to be in partnership with TNT because they were focusing on creating very strong leading roles for women in television shows. I think in Hollywood in general right now leading roles for women is a very difficult thing. And so it's a particular season right now. It's a particular cycle and it always comes back around. And I feel as though as far as roles for women and roles for African-American women, you know, there's always room. We definitely — we still need a lot of work in that area. But I feel very blessed to have this opportunity.

Q: You've played in a lot of ensemble casts in your career. And now you're in a very central role on HawthoRNe. How do you feel about that? - Uinterview

It's interesting because I feel more comfortable now. The role is more central, but it's still quite an ensemble. I'm just one who believes that, you know, ensemble is the way to go, you know? I just feel like to me that's just a very strong position. I'm enjoying it. I'm also enjoying having the opportunity to be able to come back and play the same character again. You learn more and more about your character when you have the opportunity live with it. I've been able to live with [my character] Christina for two years. I never really understood that when other actors would explain that to me. But I'm actually enjoying that process of being able to sit in this skin of this character for two years. And if I'm blessed enough to be able to do it for a third season as well. So I'm actually enjoying that process.

Q: Your family has a lot going on this summer with HawthoRNe and the release of Karate Kid starring your son, Jaden. What will your summer be like? - Uinterview

Well, we're hoping that it'll be a very successful summer with the Karate Kid and with HawthoRNe. We'll be doing a lot of traveling for Karate Kid because we'll have to take it internationally. I'll also be doing some stuff internationally for HawthoRNe while I'm traveling with Jaden. And then we'll go on vacation after that. I'm going to take my little boy somewhere he wants to go to surf and relax. And then that'll be that.