*It’s rare when a sequel can capture an audience and deliver that same element of entertainment as its predecessors. But “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” does that and more. Not only are the same adorable characters Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith), Maurice (Cedric the Entertainer) Alex (Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), and Melman (David Schwimmer) are on hand but there are other fascinating characters such as the adorable circus bear Sonya and the relentless Capitaine Chantel DuBois (Frances McDormand).
Gloria has always been my favorite so I began by asking Jada Pinkett Smith, who was at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City to promote the movie, how she felt embodying this character?
“I love Gloria. The idea that you know she’s a lotta girl. And she loves it! And I try to give her that sass and that swag. You know it’s not necessarily talking about it but sometimes just showing it. That it’s about how you look at yourself and how you carry yourself. See I’m dealing with this issue very deeply right now in dealing with romanticism in this next video that I’m doing that’s coming out June 19th in regards to human trafficking. Because it’s how most women and girls get caught up in this is the dream.
“[It’s] about the romantic dream that you’re going to find the perfect person, you’re going to find the perfect situation, right? A lot of times we give away our power in thinking we have to look to someone else to have acceptance for who we are. Right? And that our images of ourselves are based on how other people see us. And any time that you do that you’re going to be a very unhappy person because it varies too much. He might be happy with something that she might not be happy with. So now you’re stuck in the middle with trying to figure out who am I supposed to be? First is focusing on who are you happy with? What are you happy with? Because I think at the end of the day what she thinks and what he believes is nothing to do with your existence. And I tell you what: The moment that you understand your power, your beauty, your life changes. When we get out of expecting him to accept you, her to accept you, or anybody else to accept you, okay, because it’s too varied. It’s too varied but I tell you what is not varied is how you feel about yourself. And if you can carry that with you, you’re going to be Ok.”
“I love the bear,” she enthused. “That is probably the most adorable aspect of the story line to me. I just I love it. I don’t get enough of it. That bear is hilarious.
Smith was then asked to explain to EURweb how she manages to so successfully balance career and motherhood?
“Because it’s not separate. I never stop being a mother and I never stop being an artist. Which is probably why my kids are so creative, because it’s not separated. You see, when I’m with my kids I’m creating, and I’m still a mom. And when I’m creating I’m still a mom. You know, it’s not like … I don’t wear two different hats. My kids will be on the set with me. That’s one of the reasons that I had my mom [on the set for ‘Karate Kid’]. I had that segment where my mother was on that because I was breastfeeding so she had to sit on that set. Like literally, like on a chair while I’m sitting up there doing karate she’s sitting up in that chair with Willow in her lap and walking Willow around because she can’t go anywhere because I’m breastfeeding. And none of my kids took a bottle. They would not take a bottle. Do you hear me? So they couldn’t leave my side for a very long time. And so I’m sitting up there doing Kung Fu, movie Kung Fu, but I still have to do the mommy thing. There’s no separation. You know, and if I’m at home with my kids and I’m feeding them, I remember talking to Latifah and she’s like, ‘Girl I remember coming to your house and seeing you dancing in front of them kids. Feeding them kids, rapping, and signing, and all that.” And I said, “That’s why, that’s how they got all that.’ I was like, ‘Nah, that’s just what you call good genes. You know what I’m saying?’ You get with the artist, you make artists. You know? So. Yeah. [Laughs]”
And the artistic aspect of it, Jada?
“I think that even now I’ve learned how to separate art from commerce. There are certain things I do creatively for commerce. And there are certain things I don’t do for commerce, like my music. I don’t do my music for commerce at all. I do that just to be creative. I separate that from business completely. That is strictly art creating. So depending on what I’m trying to achieve really depends on how I will approach something from a business standpoint. So it’s like ‘How do I get masses of people to gravitate to this particular project?’ So then you have to strategize creatively and you have to strategize business wise also. Like what A partnership gives you. Take for example ‘Fela.’ Jay-Z came to us about that particular project. So here you have three very recognizable African Americans that are behind this Broadway show, you know what I mean?
“When you look at it from a business point of view, for us, that’s something that we did creatively and something we did for business as well. So we joined forces. And I have to say, one of the things that I love about Jay-Z and the relationship we have with him business wise, I think Rock Nation and Overbrook Entertainment are probably the only two African American entertainment groups that I know of that merge together all the time on all kinds of different projects. And we always have such wonderful success. And I’m hoping that will set an example for African Americans; we don’t always have to be in competition. You know what I’m saying? There’s more power in numbers. That goes for everybody. I’ve learned that in my experience over the years to be really able to create alliances on the business side, to encourage growth and prosperity for everybody.”
“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” opens this weekend in theaters throughout North America.