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Jada Pinkett Smith never stays out of work for too long. After her medical drama Hawthorne was canceled in 2011, the beautiful actress is heading back to the small screen, playing a villain in an upcoming Batman prequel titled, Gotham.

Doing some promo for the series, the 42-year-old appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show on Friday. While there, Jada spoke about her early relationship with hubby Will Smith and shared a cute story of meeting him, and her mom knew he was the one before Jada did. The actress also opened up about her friendship with Tupac Shakur and the father figure role he played in her life.

Peep a few highlights!

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On meeting Will for the first time:

When I was 19, I auditioned to play one of his girlfriends on Fresh Prince and they told me I was too short. But then, many years later, once I started a film career and everything, Mr. Smith decided he wanted to come and ask me to play his girlfriend again. And I had to tell him ‘no’ again. Thank goodness because I think if I had done it, we would not be married today. Because you have to meet people when you’re ready and neither one of us were ready at that time.

[Will was actually married to his first wife Sheree Zampino during Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s initial run. So had Jada said “yes” to being on the show, they probably really wouldn’t be married today. Crazy how life works, huh?]

On her mom knowing Will was the right one for her:

I remember meeting him one time at Bullock’s. Bullock’s is this department store here in Los Angeles. And I was with my mother! And here comes Will. He’s like, ‘Hey Jada!’ and saying hello to my mother and just as cheery and happy as he always is. And my mother said, ‘Why can’t you date a nice guy like him?’ I said, ‘Will?! That’s the Fresh Prince! What I’mma do with him?!’ And of course, look at me now. He got me on lock down, Arsenio! He got me! Finally!

Tupac Shakur File Photos

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On her relationship with Tupac:

Pac was probably one of the first male figures that I had in my life that saw the beauty and the talent and my intelligence, separated from sex. That’s something that a child, a young girl usually gets from her father. I didn’t have that. Pac was the first one… that… it wasn’t about sex. It was about, ‘You? You’re a beautiful woman. You’re talented. You’re strong. I respect you and you are MY girl! You’re gonna sit right here and I’m gonna protect you! Imma make sure, if nothing else, you get what you need!’ And that’s what our relationship was like. We kind of did that for each other.


That’s [rap], what people knew of Pac, but he was so much more. We went to the Baltimore School for the Arts so we really were able to have access to all kinds of music, all kinds of things. Pac was a lover of Shakespeare. A lot of people don’t know that. Pac loved rock music, too. He loved metal just as much as I did. It was just that his gift was rap. He was a rapper. One of his idols was Rakim.

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