Jaden Smith made his movie debut in 2006, acting with his dad, Will Smith. This summer, Jaden gets his first starring role in a re-imagining of a classic ’80s movie, The Karate Kid (rated PG). Here’s the scoop on the new Karate Kid (rated PG), which opens in theaters June 11.
Jaden plays Dre Parker, a kid from Detroit who moves to Beijing with his mom when she gets a new job (can you imagine changing to a new school halfway around the world? Scary!). At his new school, Dre gets bullied for liking a classmate, and he only knows a little karate to defend himself. Then he meets a maintenance man, Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), who is a secret master of kung fu. Mr. Han agrees to mentor Dre in kung fu using his unconventional teaching methods.
We caught up with Jaden to find out more about his character, his best subject in school and his book recommendations. (You may have heard of them. . .)
Q: Tell us about your character in Karate Kid.
Jaden: My character’s name is Dre Parker. He has to move from his home in Detroit when his mom gets a job in China. Dre wants to be tough all the time. He tries to be the macho, tough-kid type when he goes to China. But instead he gets beats up because he likes this girl. He learns that violence is not the answer.
Q: What do you like about him?
Jaden: I liked his ability to stand up to a bully.
Q: In real life, do you think you would be friends with Dre?
Jaden: Yes, we would be friends because I like his courage. And he’s kind.
Q: Which scene was the most fun to shoot? Which scene was the hardest?
Jaden: The tournament at the end of the movie was the most fun and the hardest to shoot, because I had to constantly fight every day. It was exhausting. But it was also really cool.
Q: What is your favorite subject in school? Why?
Jaden: Math because I am amazing at it.
Q: If you were going to recommend three books to a friend, what books would you recommend?
Jaden: There’s actually four: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. The whole Twilight series [for ages 12 and up] is really good.
Jaden also has this to say to you, Splotters: “Follow your dreams.” Great advice, Jaden! Will you be checking out The Karate Kid? Have you ever watched the original movie? Let us know what you think in the Comments.
— Kelli, Scholastic Staffer
Photos courtesy Columbia Pictures