Jodie Turner-Smith says childbirth is 'goddess-level s***'

Kerry Justich
·2 min read

Jodie Turner-Smith is gearing up for the release of the film Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, where she’ll be starring alongside Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell. And although the majority of the hard-hitting action is done by her co-stars, Turner-Smith is making sure that people don’t discount the effort she exerted filming while pregnant.

“The men think they’re hard-core,” the 34-year-old actress told Elle for the January 2021 digital cover, “but they could never do what they do while also making a baby. They just couldn’t.”

Turner-Smith was in the second trimester of her pregnancy with now 8-month-old daughter Janie Jackson, who the actress shares with actor Joshua Jackson. The couple kept their relationship quiet for some time before appearing on a red carpet together in November 2019 and marrying in secret the following month. In April, Turner-Smith and Jackson welcomed their first child together, opting for a home birth because of concerns over higher mortality rates for Black mothers.

Jodie Turner-Smith speaks about parenting during a pandemic. (Photo: Getty Images)
Jodie Turner-Smith speaks about parenting during a pandemic. (Photo: Getty Images)

“We had already decided on a home birth because of concerns about negative birth outcomes for Black women in America,” Turner-Smith shared in an essay for British Vogue in September. “According to the [CDC], the risk of pregnancy-related deaths is more than three times greater for Black women than for white women, pointing, it seems to me, to systemic racism.”

Turner-Smith wearing pieces from Gucci's collaboration with North Face. (Photo: Ruth Ossai for Elle)
Turner-Smith wearing pieces from Gucci's collaboration with North Face. (Photo: Ruth Ossai for Elle)

Turner-Smith shared with Elle what else she had learned from the experience of childbirth. “Patriarchal society really is out here, scamming women into thinking that they’re not supremely powerful beings,” she said. “Because damn, it’s some goddess-level s***.”

And although Turner-Smith continued to act and direct during pregnancy, she opened up about the difficult journey that lies in parenting, especially during a global pandemic.

“Navigating parenthood at any time is difficult and it’s even more difficult without support, when everything is shut down and you can’t really see other people or go anywhere,” she said, giving additional praise to the parents of school-age children. “I’m not having to sit on Zoom with [Janie] and suddenly become her educator as well as her caretaker.”

Aside from her responsibilities at work and at home, Turner-Smith is finding peace through nature and clothing. “If we can mix fashion with me getting my outdoor situations on, it’s a very beautiful marriage of two things,” she says, as an ambassador for Gucci, which released a collaboration with The North Face. “We all need a little bit of carefree energy right now.”

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