It was the face that launched a thousand memes: Will Smith, head tilted, his eyes appearing red and slightly swollen—the look you have when you’re on the verge of tears.
The viral image was clipped from he and wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s July 10 Red Table Talk episode in which they discussed (who could forget) Pinkett Smith’s romantic relationship—errr, “entanglement”—with singer-songwriter August Alsina.
Smith’s dismal expression quickly took on a life of its own, becoming the summer’s new “Crying Jordan” meme. It accompanied innocuous work email jokes, quips about 2020, and more than a few digs about the affair itself.
It turns out Will has been getting a hearty laugh from the reactions his damn self, recently addressing the real reason he appeared so distraught during the taping.
The “Fresh Prince” rapper-turned-Hollywood star was accepting the Robin Williams “Legacy of Laughter” award from Williams’ family, but as he was getting ready for the taping, he and Pinkett Smith began joking about his tendency to look as though he’s crying.
“I’m not sad a lot,” Smith said in a clip posted on his YouTube account on Tuesday. He dabbed his eyes with a napkin. “I think because I drink so much coffee, I get dehydrated, and it makes my eyes water. I know people think I’m crying all the time.”
Off to the side, Pinkett Smith agreed. “Such a shame,” she said, as Smith laughed.
“It is. No, no but it worked out,” the 52-year-old actor and producer responded.
“It was midnight. We were shooting at midnight ‘cause we were trying to rush to go to the airport in the morning,” Smith continued, suggesting he was merely exhausted.
Pinkett Smith chimed in, saying she should have stuck to her gut and re-shot the whole discussion.
“That’s what I said, I said reshoot but it played out. Everybody’s like ‘poor Will,’” Smith said, smiling at the camera.
“Oh, God!” replied Pinkett Smith.“And they thought he was fucking sad.”
“They love theyselves some Will,” chuckled Smith, continuing to dab his eyes.
Whatever your feelings about Pinkett Smith’s relationship with Alsina—and the internet certainly has thoughts—Will and Jada appear to be taking it all in stride. Now, whether the 28-year-old Alsina himself is kicking back and having a chuckle about the whole thing...that’s another story.
Back in June, Alsina shared his feelings about his relationship with Pinkett Smith with Breakfast Club co-host Angela Yee. The revelation prompted Pinkett Smith to respond via her Red Table Talk show a few weeks later.
“I totally gave myself to that relationship for years of my life,” Alsina told Yee. “I devoted myself to it, I gave my full self to it—so much so to the point that I can die right now and be okay with knowing that I truly gave myself to somebody.”