When you’re a little girl named Jada, there’s only one heroine: Jada Pinkett Smith. Before she came along, there was no one. The kids would sometimes call you Jabba the Hut; people asking your name would hear Hada, or Judah, or sometimes even Juan. But then Miss Pinkett became a star, and people got it. “Oh, Jada,” they’d say, “as in Jada Pinkett Smith.” She was, and remains, the only famous Jada in the world.
And when you’ve grown up to be a party reporter named Jada, it is a momentous occasion when Jada Pinkett Smith comes to town for the Museum of the Moving Image’s tribute to her husband, Will Smith. Arriving at the Waldorf-Astoria last night, Smith greeted the reporter first: “Jada?! That is so funny! How you doing, baby? Give me a hug!” Then along came his wife, who is less excitable but ready to welcome a sister. “Girl,” she said, “we were the first ones! When everyone was like, ‘What? Judah, Joda, Jumper?’” Then 8-year-old Jaden, Will and Jada’s son, weighed in. Reporter Jada introduced herself, and Jaden’s eyes grew huge with shock. He looked at his mom, and then he looked back at the reporter. He glared suspiciously. And the message was clear: The room was only big enough for one Jada that night. The non–Pinkett Smith Jada backed away. She’d flown too close to the sun. —Jada Yuan