Willow Smith quit Annie remake to 'be normal'

Singer and actress just wants to 'be 12', says her dad Will

Will Smith has told how his daughter Willow dropped out of the planned remake of 'Annie' in order to be a 'normal' teenager.

The 'Whip My Hair' singer was set to star in the rebooted musical, which is being produced by her dad and rapper Jay-Z, but took herself out of the running earlier this month.

[Related story: Ben-Hur remake planned]

Willow... just wants to be 12, says her dad Will (Copyright: Rex)

It was initially claimed that she had outgrown the role, but dad Will has revealed the real reason behind her decision.

“In 2010, in one year, our family had 'The Karate Kid' (starring son Jaden), we had 'Whip My Hair', we had 'Hawthorne' (his wife Jada Pinkett Smith's TV series) and at the end of the year, we did the Nobel Concert when Barack Obama won his Nobel Peace Prize.

“That wears you out. Willow was supposed to be doing 'Annie'. We got Jay-Z to do the movie, got the studio to come in [but] Willow had such a difficult time on tour with 'Whip My Hair' and she said, 'You know Daddy, I don't think so'.

“I said, 'Baby, hold up!' I said, 'No, no, no, listen, you'll be in New York with all of your friends and Beyonce will be there. You will be singing and dancing,' and she looked at me and said, 'Daddy, I have a better idea. How about I just be 12?'

“I'm really learning through Willow the necessity that we have to snap ourselves back and refocus on the emotional needs of the people that we love. Someone's emotional needs can be very very different from your dreams and what you think they should be doing and where they are supposed to be.”

It's not yet known who will replace Willow in the lead role, but Will Gluck, who helmed 'Friends With Benefits', is set to direct.