Jada Pinkett Smith

  1. Nia Long, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, TV, 1990-1996.  Jada tested for the  role of Will Smith’s girlfriend on TV. She lost. “Too short.”  Didn’t bother Smith. He married her in 1997. (He also met first wife, Sheree Smith, due to TV – at a taping of  A Different World, in 1991).
  2. Vivica A Fox, Independence Day, 1995.  Will Smith was The Star – but his wife  had to  pass on Jasmine Dubrow. She was committed to Eddie Murphy’s Nutty Professor. (No improvement on the Jerry Lewis original).
  3. Carrie-Anne Moss,  The Matrix, 1998.    Er, not  now, guys! When her agent called with news that the Wachowski siblings (then brothers Larry and Andy, now sisters Lana and Lilly) were considering  her for the action-packed Trinity – Jada was nine months pregnant with future star Jaden Smith.  But in perfect shape when joining the franchise in 2002 as Niobe
  4. Halle Berry, X-Men quartet,  1999-2013.
  5. Aaliyah, Queen of the Damned, 2001.   What were they thinking?  Cher was hardly going to agree to be a (26 minute) supporting act to the vampire Lestat…!   Particularly in such a mish-mash of two Anne Rice novels. rushed into action before Warner Bros’ rights ran out.  She would have been  great, of course. However, director Michael Rymer decided Queen Akasha  should  be black. He saw all the inevitables: Halle Berry, Rosario Dawson, Vivica A Fox, Jada Pinkett Smith, Vanessa Williams, plus newcomers JenNa Dewan and Samanatha Mumba…  But  Aaliyah was at her short-lived zenith.  Having survived the odious R Kelly (she wed him at 15; it said 18 on the  certification), she tragically died  in a  Bahamas plane crash soon after shooting wrapped.  She was just  22.
  6. Angelina Jolie, Wanted, 2007.  For his US debut, Kazakhstan director Timur Bekmambetov had the choice of Halle Berry, Beyoncé and Jessica Biel but Jolie had an inside edge – basing her Fox on Clint Eastwood. And showing geeky James McAvoy “how to load a phallic pistol and shoot his wad,” said  Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers.  She’d hung tough  before as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in 2000 and put the popper into Salt, 2009.
  7. Janet Jackson,  The  Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, 1999.   Eddie Murphy’s Sherman needed a new girlfriend. Carla Puirty, from the first film, had run off to start a family witgh hubbyt  Will Smith. Enter: Janet as Denise. Murphy also played Mama, Papa (young and old), Granny  nd Ernie Klump, Lance Perkins and Sherman’s evil clone: Buddy Love.  (In the 1962 original Nutty Prof, Jerry Lewis was satisfied with just two roles. Then again, he was also helming anbd writing his film).
  8. Cameron Diaz, Charlie’s Angels, 2000. A new producer called Drew Barrymore bought the  movie rights and made her day(s), netting a guesstimated  $40m from the the first film and $80m from the sequel.  Diaz was paid  $12m – instead of Jada (who split for Bamboozled).


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  7