Before Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith even got together, he had feelings for her. He was looking for her on the set of "A Different World" when he originally met Zampino. "I didn't meet Jada that day . . . We had all these near misses," he said on a 2018 episode of "Red Table Talk."
He and Pinkett Smith didn't actually meet until 1994 when she auditioned for a role on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." She didn't get the gig, but when the two linked up for a dinner with friends during his marriage to Zampino, they commiserated over both of their respective "dysfunctional" relationships and gave each other advice. "When everyone else left, Jada and I stayed, and I was surprised at how smart she was. Generally, people don't arouse your intellect and your loins," Smith told Rolling Stone in 1998 about the dinner that changed everything. Smith later said on "Red Table Talk" that the connection was "real, unique, beautiful power" and showed him what his life could be like.
The pair knew they had a connection, and that's why they made a concerted effort to stay away from each other. "I didn't talk to him for six months," Pinkett Smith told Rolling Stone. "When you know there's a connection, you think, 'This is not something I want to fool around with.' . . . It was like a secret we had. I knew, but I didn't get any signal from him."
After Smith and Zampino divorced in 1995, Smith called Pinkett Smith, and they got together for real. They married in 1997 and now have two kids together, Jaden and Willow.
Smith and Pinkett Smith have had their own relationship ups and downs through the years. "We decided that we were going to separate for a period of time, and you go figure out how to make yourself happy, and I'll figure out how to make myself happy," Smith said in 2020 on "Red Table Talk" about their separation a few years prior. Pinkett Smith engaged in a romantic relationship with singer August Alsina at the time, but the relationship was short-lived, and the couple ultimately knew they still wanted to be together.
Smith opened up to GQ in late 2021 about how they've had periods of nonmonogamy in their marriage, because that's what works for them. "There were significant endless discussions about, what is relational perfection?" he told GQ, adding, "What is the perfect way to interact as a couple? And for the large part of our relationship, monogamy was what we chose, not thinking of monogamy as the only relational perfection."
Their openness with each other and their relationship seems to be what makes them work, as the two are still together more than 20 years after marrying.