Will Smith took over his wife’s Red Table Talk talk show to discuss all things ‘dad’ with comedian Kevin Hart. They discussed the likes of being different from their own fathers, raising girls, and infidelity.
Read on for the whole story…
Kevin Hart sat down with Will Smith on Red Table Talk to discuss what makes a good father.
Throughout the forty-five-minute episode, the pair touched on their biggest parenting mistakes, how they made their blended families work and how they address tough issues – including, in Hart’s case, his own infidelity – with their children.
The talk got off to a rough start, with Hart arriving about an hour late for the interview.
Though she wasn’t involved in the actual interview, Jada Pinkett Smith joked that his tardiness was “deeply unprofessional” and added, “I bet you he wouldn’t have done it to Ellen.”
Smith and Hart started by discussing how they both had a deep focus on raising their children differently from how they were raised, saying it was important for them to be nothing like their own dads.
“I had a bad father. No disrespect to my dad. My dad wasn’t the best father,” said Hart, citing his dad’s history with drugs, incarceration, and bad relationship with his mother. For Smith, he said he watched his father “bust my mother in the head,” saying, “I made the decision that I damn sure wasn’t gonna do that when I had my family.”
Smith is the father of 3 children, Trey, Jaden, and Willow. Meanwhile, Hart has 4 kids, Heaven, Hendrix, Kenzo, and Kaori.
Hart shares his elder children with ex-wife Torrei and has the younger Kenzo and Kaori with his wife Eniko Parrish. While Hart said he was “very lucky to have 2 amazing mothers” for his children, he acknowledged he’s had his “ups and downs” with his ex.
Smith questioned Hart on how he made his blended family work, leading Hart to admit it wasn’t always great.
“I think the thing that you do wrong, you carry out your personal grudges. Your personal grudges affect your kids, there’s an energy,” said Hart, “You both have an energy. I’ve made mistakes of participating in the bad energy. We got to a space where we both understood, there’s like a cloud.” He added that his co-parenting friendship with Torrei today is the best it’s ever been.
The talk then turned to Hart’s infidelity against wife Eniko, which blew up while she was pregnant.
“I stepped in some s***, yeah,” said Hart, as Smith asked how he addressed that scandal with his children. “You’re never prepared for that side of it. Having a little girl in my life, it’s tough. You don’t realize the impact that your mistakes can truly have. When the kids get involved, it’s a different feeling, it’s a different emotion.”
“Through my public, uh, debacles… it’s very hard to bother me… very hard… but when your child shows disappointment, shows emotion, shows ‘I don’t understand why’ and you gotta have those conversations, the head drops for the first time,” he continued. “Now you realize there’s a different emotional cord that can be pulled on you that nobody else has the privilege of ever touching. My daughter touched on that cord, man.”
He explained how hard it was to discuss his cheating with sixteen-year-old daughter Heaven.
“When me and my wife went through what we went through and the whole cheating display, my talk with Heaven, god damn,” said Hart, “That was one like no other. Getting my daughter back, getting my daughter to understand that I’m sorry, that I made a mistake, that was real. To understand, I’m still dad.”
He added that Heaven was “tough” on him and, “until this day,” still is. “My daughter don’t play no games with her father, man.”
Smith also spoke about also having so much of their personal life blow up in the media.
“Jada and I have been really open with our, uh, realities. With our s***,” Smith explained, “We found that with our kids, we just tell them everything. We try to get out ahead of it, so the kids know before the world knows. We had a couple that got to the kids before we had a chance and that’s excruciating.”
Towards the end of the conversation, they bonded over being the fathers of daughters around the same age, and the issues that come with that.
While they both said they’ve maybe shielded their kids from too much while raising them, Hart said his daughter is not “prepared for the man that could f****** break her heart, the predator who wants one thing.”
“She isn’t yet because all she knows is love, all she knows is happy,” he said, “That’s not a bad thing, but it’s not a f****** good thing either.”
Smith explained – saying he felt Willow was “gonna be mad” at him for telling – said he had once pulled “one dude that’s been a friend” of hers aside for a man-to-man conversation.
“I remember when he first started coming around, I pulled him up like, ‘Man, here’s the deal. If my daughter loves you, I love you and no matter what happens with y’all I need two things from you,'” said Will. “Don’t ever put your hands on her and don’t ever leave her nowhere. You do those two things, I got you for the rest of your life no matter what happens with y’all.”
As the conversation wrapped, Jada popped out and let Will know the two “did great” taking over her table.
You can watch the full interview above.