Kids: If only they came with an instruction manual…Or the opportunity to star in an unnecessary remake of The Karate Kid that for some reason takes place in China!
Lucky for Will and Jada Pinkett Smith that their son Jaden does, in fact, have that opportunity, and it has done wonders for him. Why, before 11-year-old Jaden was shipped off to China to train with co-star Jackie Chan for months at a time, he was a typical undisciplined, messy 11-year-old boy. But having the weight of a possible Karate Kid franchise reboot on his tiny shoulders has taught him some important life lessons.
While filming in Beijing, including atop the Great Wall of China, Chan was more than a martial arts mentor to his young costar. "Jackie taught me to ask, 'My left or camera left?'" says Jaden on learning the important directions of acting in front of the movie camera. "That helped."
Just think about how useful that little lesson will be when young Jaden takes his driving test. As they're pulling out of the parking lot to begin the test, the DMV examiner will say, "Turn left here," and Jaden will slam on his brakes and ask, "My left or camera left! My left or camera left!" The examiner will angrily shake his head and and say, "YOUR left. There's no camera here, kid." "That's what you think," Jaden will quietly chuckle to himself, secure in the knowledge that cameras are trained on him at all times, just like his father promised him oh so many years ago.
Thanks to the Karate Kid remake, Jaden's miles ahead already—and not just in terms of disinguishing left from camera left. Starring in his own movie has transformed Jaden into a much more well-behaved child.
And, as Jaden became a true karate kid, he realized that there is more to martial arts than just the kicking and punching – there are lasting lessons of obedience to be instilled. In fact Jaden's parents appreciate the discipline he learned. "His dad told me that Jaden had changed," says Chan. "When he takes his shoes off, he doesn't throw them in the corner, but puts them away neatly!"
See, parents? If your son is messy or disrespectful or refuses to clean his room, there's no need to punish him. Simply make him the star of his own big-budget unnecessary remake, and he'll be neatly putting his shoes away in no time! Will Smith is the new Dr. Spock.