It was claimed last month that Willow Smith had decided to pull out of the movie Annie, with reports suggesting that it was because she had outgrown the role. Now, her father Will Smith has revealed the real reason why she quit Annie, saying that she just wants to spend time being a 12-year-old.
Smith explained, “In the past 18 months, I have spent a lot of time focusing on the emotional aspect of my life and my family. In 2010, in one year, our family had the Karate Kid (starring his son Jaden), we had Whip my Hair, we had Hawthorne (his wife Jada Pinkett Smith's medical drama series), and at the end of the year, we did the Nobel Concert when Barack Obama won his Nobel Peace Prize. That wears you out.”
He added, “Willow was supposed to be doing Annie; we got Jay-Z to do the movie, got the studio to come in and Willow had such a difficult time on tour with Whip My Hair and she said, 'You know Daddy, I don't think so...' and I said, 'Baby, hold up!' I said, 'No, no, no, listen, you'll be in New York with all of your friends and Beyonce (Jay-Z's wife) will be there. You will be singing and dancing,' and she looked at me and said, 'Daddy, I have a better idea. How about I just be 12?'”
Will added, “I'm really learning through Willow the necessity that we have to snap ourselves back and refocus on the emotional needs of the people that we love. Someone's emotional needs can be very very different from your dreams and what you think they should be doing and where they are supposed to be.”
Now that Willow Smith has pulled out of Annie, the search is on for her replacement. Annie will be directed by Will Gluck, based on the screenplay by Aline Brosh McKenna, and produced by Will Smith and Jay-Z. Annie is set to begin shooting in the spring with a release expected to be sometime in 2014.