“I’m ready for some hotness.” That’s what Jada Pinkett Smith tells husband Will Smith, and fellow screen star, when he suggests a trip to their favorite hot spot. What is it about Miami that makes it such a star magnet? While celebrities may live and work in New York and L.A., they play in Miami. Perhaps no other stars (besides Madonna) epitomize the place better than Jada and Will, who even wrote a song about the city.

We caught up with Jada recently to ask her for a guided tour. While her perspective is prob-ably a bit different from most of ours (when they arrive at the airport a fleet of Suburbans is waiting to whisk their whole crew off to South Beach), she nonetheless offers a well-rounded look at the city’s offerings and even suggests things to do with kids. Kids and family are a major part of Jada’s life (“people turn their heads and go, ‘Here comes Will and the Squad’”); in fact, she brought her youngest with her to the photo shoot for this issue’s cover.

Associate design director Gilberto Mejia and Celebrated Weekend editor Tiffany Franke, who were on the set, said she was approachable, fun, and, most importantly, accommodating — she easily modeled outfit after outfit so we’d have a variety of shots. You may not have immediately recognized her, since she’s abandoned her signature cropped do for the glamorous long locks she has now. The women on staff here have debated whether the hair is real, or really extensions, but we all agree it’s a whole new Jada.

It’s a whole new look this time on the cover, as well — did you notice? We zoomed in for a close-up shot of Jada’s face, rather than our usual waist- or chest-up angle. It’s more dramatic, though it doesn’t provide a larger perspective. From the comments we received on the Madeleine Stowe cover (February 15), many of you don’t want the larger perspective. C’mon … it’s only a bellybutton!

Seriously, we love to hear from you, good and bad, so please let us know what you think. You can contact us through www.americanwaymag.com, where you can also find your favorite American Way articles (look for this symbol throughout the magazine; it means that specific story is online, as well as other archived stories). When you visit our Web site, you can also register for online promotions and other offers, so check it out. It’s not hotness, but it is pretty cool.

ELAINE SRNKA
Editor