Will Smith Says Growing Up in Abusive Home Made Him Want to Be a Better Father

Will Smith on Red Table Talk. (Credit: Facebook Watch)

Will Smith is speaking out about his family and the lessons he learned about fatherhood from his dad.

The actor sat down for a one-on-one conversation with wife Jada Pinkett Smith on a special Father’s Day episode of Red Table Talk, which was released Sunday.

The conversation centered on parenting, overcoming failure, how Will’s divorce from his first wife shaped his approach to fatherhood, and what he learned from his dad.

“By the time I was ten years old, I remember looking at my father and thinking that I could do it better than him,” Smith said about fatherhood.

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The actor, rapper and producer added that he didn’t start to appreciate his father, Will Smith Sr., until after he passed away.

“Well there’s such beautiful qualities that he instilled that are a big part of what made me me,” Smith explained, before adding that there were also many negatives.

“I watched him beat up my mother. So the biggest emotional scar that I have in this lifetime, he delivered that also,” Smith said. “He showed me a lot of things that I wanted to do, but he also showed me the things I would absolutely, positively never do to my children. He was so smart and then when he would get angry, he would turn into the dumbest person I’ve ever met.”

At another point in the interview, the Bad Boys for Life star got emotional while talking about becoming a father for the first time, when he and ex-wife Sheree Zampino welcomed son Trey into the world.

“So Will Smith becomes a father at 24… What was that like?” Jada asked.

“I brought him home, and I remember we put him in the bassinet… and it was like stark terror. I’m totally responsible for this life,” Smith said. “I just cried so hard. It makes me teary right now.”

Watch the Father’s Day episode of the Facebook Watch series below.