Jodie Turner-Smith is using her voice in the fight against systemic racism, but there was a time in the new mom's life when it was a challenge to face current issues head-on.
In a new cover interview for NET-A-PORTER's Porter, the Queen & Slim star recalls being home in California with husband Joshua Jackson and their then-newborn daughter during protests surrounding the death of George Floyd, and how she had to taper her reactions for the sake of her baby.
"We decided to live in West Hollywood for the birth [to be closer to a hospital in case of an emergency], so I was hearing the sirens and the marches," said Turner-Smith, 34. "I could hear all the unrest outside the door, and it actually took me a while before I could watch the video of George Floyd because I was nursing my daughter and you think about the generational trauma that we already carry and deal with and pass on."
"I was trying really hard not to pass on that fear, sadness and anxiety through my breast to my child," she added. "I had to shut a lot of it down and just stay insular and inside my family for a bit."
As for how she and Jackson, 42, plan to raise their baby girl, "You just want to create a better life – not that I had a bad life by any means – but the heartbreaks I had in my own life, ideally I want to save my daughter from having them," Turner-Smith said.
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Turner-Smith decided to give birth at home, where she labored for almost four days with the support of a full team: her obstetrician, her doula, her midwife, her mother — and, of course, Jackson.
"Right after I gave birth, my husband washed her, and the midwife and doula cleaned everything up. Then me, my husband and my daughter, we just slept for a good 12 hours. I needed that. We needed that," she recalled.
The actress went on to share with Porter that she and the Little Fires Everywhere actor, whom she is "really in love with," recently celebrated their two-year anniversary. And while she thinks she's "doing a pretty good job of not shouting" her affection for him "from the rooftops as much as I would like to," she can't help but praise him for being "a really amazing dude."
"It's only gotten better and I feel so grateful for that," Turner-Smith added of their relationship. "That's why I share it sometimes, because I love him, I think he's hot, I think he's smart and he's incredibly talented. I feel so lucky to be in a relationship with somebody who feels the same about me, who is not shy about telling me that or uplifting me."
She would also "love to work with him on stage" and is "excited for what else he's going to do in his career" — and as for their current day-to-day dynamic, "This is kind of a new wave for him," said Turner-Smith. "He's now a man in his 40s who's been acting since he was a child. He's become a new man, a husband and father."
"It's a hopeful thing to decide to have a child. It's a hopeful thing to decide to love in this moment," she continued. "As much as I am exhausted, as much as I am heartbroken about things that are happening and continue to happen, at my essence I am hopeful, otherwise I wouldn't be here celebrating my two-year anniversary with my husband, who I love dearly, and our daughter, who we brought into the world just a little while ago."
She can't help giving herself some well-deserved props for what a woman's body is capable of, too, having filmed the upcoming action flick Without Remorse — in which she portrays a Navy SEAL, alongside Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell — during the second trimester of her pregnancy.
"All these guys wearing all the tactical gear, [were] jumping out of helicopters, carrying big rifles and saving the world, and I was doing everything they were doing but with a baby inside me," said Turner-Smith. "It was testament to the fact that women really can do f—ing anything."
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