Europa Press/Europa Press via Getty Images
Europa Press/Europa Press via Getty Images
Despite having already beaten the odds, the longtime couple persist in being a favorite regarding marital-doomsday scenarios, the overall vibe being that the magnetic couple aren't a solid unit but rather a ticking timebomb of dysfunction and insurmountable oddities.
Instead of looking at Jaden and Willow's parents as models of companionship and consistency, their nearly 18 years together have made them a target.
Are we that...jaded?
While we're so quick to gush over relatively newbie couples like Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum (she was allowed to hyphenate in peace), Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky, and Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, why is longevity achieving the relatively opposite effect for Will and Jada?
Let's retrace their steps and see why naysayers refuse to just let these two be:
1. Everyone Thinks They Have an Open Marriage: But it's not just that people think that—it's that they're judging it. Damn you, candor!
Going on 10 years ago, one comment too many led a tabloid to believe that the actors had issued each other permanent hall passes. That was apparently all it took for people to think, "Oh, well, that'll never last. Weirdoes." So theoretically, the public image of their marriage has been paying for that ever since, despite their darned persistence in staying together.
"I've heard all the things—their marriage is not real, he's gay, she's gay, they swing," Jada said on an Atlanta radio show in 2009. "But at the end of the day, people have to believe what they have to believe. I'll tell you what, it's too hard to be in a pretend marriage. Life's too short for that one."
She clarified to Howard Stern in June (because that's how much people are still talking about it): "You gotta trust who you're with, and at the end of the day, I'm not here to be anybody's watcher. I'm not his watcher. He's a grown man...I trust that the man that Will is is a man of integrity. He's got all the freedom in the world, and as long as Will can look at himself in the mirror and be OK, I'm good." (And that wasn't the first time she made that look-in-the-mirror point.)
Speaking of clear enough to make a point but also cryptic enough to keep people guessing, Jada just wrote on Facebook one week ago:
"When convention works...by all means use it. But when it doesn't...that's when it's time to have the courage to be creative and invent something...new. Create your life so that it caters to YOUR values, YOUR purpose and ultimately...YOUR happiness. Happy Monday. J"
2. They're Just Too Hot: Not that they're the only ones in that department. But while Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie emit a holier-than-thou vibe, and we're pretty sure droplets of blood and sworn vows to gods and goddesses we've never heard of were involved in their coupling, Will and Jada look like they're having fun. Whether they're smooching in public, showing off their strong bods on a beach somewhere fabulous or laughing at how ridiculous the people who just don't get them are...
They're doing it together.
And aside from being hot for each other, they also seem to really like each other.
In 2013, Pinkett told HuffPost Live (while also addressing open-marriage rumors): "He's been by my side through some of the most difficult parts of my life. And so that's something you can never take away. A lot of other things, you never know, other things might change...but one thing is for sure: I love him deeply and he is my best friend."
"She is just absolutely hardcore, like she absolutely is unfazed by the weight and the pressures of life," Will told People in 2012. "She is so calm and cool and easy in any situation. She can bear anything, and I just love that about her."
Moviestore Collection/Rex/REX USA
3. Their Careers Aren't the Same: Unlike Brangelina, while both individually famous, Will and Jada don't really frequent the same sandbox. Jada was a well-known actress before marrying Will, but they tied the knot right after Independence Day and Men in Black, when he was the guy. So obviously to some, his super-stardom probably didn't work for her, there's temptation everywhere and he became a walking ego, and zzzzzzzz... But take another look: Jada's resume hasn't exactly been hurting. And she wasn't the one in After Earth.
Point being: The Ali co-stars have been there for each other through thick and thin, through times both lean and fat in the career department. They of course haven't yet had to brave the Oscar curse that has taken down a few others, but who wants to bet they'd be the exception to the rule?
4. There's Hardly Anyone Left to Pick On: After Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon split up in 2009 after 23 years together ('twas a dark day), the situation got dire as far as storied showbiz romances went. Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith split after 18 years in June 2014, David Arquette and Courteney Cox hit the wall at 12, Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis ended their partnership after 12, etc. And we're just talking couples who at least made it all the way to double digits.
So is the general insistence on Will-and-Jada's demise largely just due to the fact that they're there?
We should be able to tuck them away in a place that's safe, where if they were to split up it would shake our very core because who ever thought they wouldn't make it. Instead, they're more like sitting ducks, gliding toward 18 years of marriage on Dec. 31.
Jason Merritt/Getty Images
5. The Green-Eyed Monster: We get why it can be disconcertingly satisfying when celebrity couples break up—if you're single or going through your own breakup, it makes you feel less alone, and if you're married or otherwise in a relationship, you might think, Well, look at me, one-upping these hot famous types. (Or you're terrible, whichever.)
But remember, Will and Jada don't put on airs about how glorious marriage is, nor do they repeatedly remind us (ahem) how tough it's been for them. They do, however, keep it real.
"You've gotta be strong," Jada told Howard Stern. "It takes hard work, Howard."
Who knows what'll happen tomorrow? But that's about as honest as it gets right now.
UPDATE: The latest report that they were splitting up actually got Will talking on Facebook at around 2:10 p.m., it was that annoying this time:
Jada chimed on in Twitter: "My king has spoken."