Jada Pinkett Smith is getting a lot of love on her special day. The actress celebrated her 50th birthday in an all-new star-studded episode of Red Table Talk, and couldn’t hold back her tears as she reflected on her life, her marriage, her career and her family.
The new episode included a cavalcade of cameos from some of Jada’s famous friends and fans — beginning with a special pre-taped message of love from George Clooney.
“Jada, I’m talking to you from inside my closet because outside my closet there are twins with plastic swords that are bashing each other in the head and it just didn’t seem like an appropriate way to celebrate your birthday,” Clooney shares in the message, referring to his 4-year-old twins Alexander and Ella, whom he shares with wife Amal Clooney.
“Now they tell me that you are turning 50 which that is not possible because that would mean that I am 60 and that is not possible,” Clooney continues. “So, you’re 39. Happy 39th, and I’m 49. I like that a lot better.”
Clooney also explains that he was tasked with thinking up a burning question for Jada to answer on the show, and he came up with a good one: “How do you put up with Will [Smith]? I mean really, you are intelligent, talented, successful and beautiful. You have all of these qualities that quite honestly Will doesn’t have and I wanna know how after all these years you do it?”
After Jada and her Red Table Talk co-hosts — daughter Willow Smith and mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris — swooned a bit over how good Clooney looks, the actress contemplatively addresses the question at hand.
“I think what you really have to learn is how to have a friendship. I mean, really, how do you put up with anybody? How do you put up with yourself? Once you learn how to put up with yourself you really learn how to put up with all others,” she shares. “I think, for me, I had so much emotional maturity that I had to do. I really had to take the time to learn how to love myself because how we love ourselves is how we show people how to love us.”
While Jada seems to feel overwhelmed with joyfulness throughout the birthday special, she starts to get choked up at a heartfelt message from longtime friend and fellow actress Angela Bassett, who shares her love and asks a poignant question: “What is the most difficult thing for you to overcome?”
Willow suggests that having to raise two kids who were a handful may be an answer, but Jada explains that they weren’t really difficult at all.
“Being a mother is challenging because you sacrifice a lot, but I’ll tell you what — sacrificing for you guys was sacred,” Jada shares. “You guys have been the greatest gifts of my life.”
Reflecting on her kids, Jada fights back tears as she expresses the depth of her love and appreciation for them.
“You guys have been an amazing treasure for me,” she says of Willow, Jaden and Trey. “You guys have been so loving and supportive and you guys just see me… through the toughest times. Being a mother wasn’t easy but it was worth it.”
Throughout the emotional and heartfelt episode, Jada receives messages from Kerry Washington, Gabrielle Union, Mariah Carey, Ciara, Jimmy Kimmel, Bethenny Frankel, Tia Mowry, Lauren London, Octavia Spencer, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Samuel L. Jackson, Missy Elliot, Michael Strahan, Trevor Noah, Meagan Good, Duane Martin, Lena Waithe, MC Lyte, Arsenio Hall, and an in-person chat with Method Man.
The candid and contemplative celebration also includes a surprise visit from her sons, Jaden and Trey, who sneak up on her during her interview and bring a giant smile to her face with their appearance and some jaw-dropping custom birthday cakes.
The festivities are topped off with a live performance from Toni Braxton, who serenades Jada and her family with a very special rendition of “Happy Birthday.”