As one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood, Will Smith is known to frequent a red carpet or awards ceremony. But in recent times, the actor has traded the sartorial image most are accustomed to for one in favour of gym shorts and loose sweats. If you’ve been following Smith at all, you’ll know that the actor has been on something of a health kick; a fitness journey that started with the sole intention of getting in the best shape of his life. Of course, as most fitness journeys tend to reveal, these efforts are about far more than weight loss and lifting alone, revealing instead aspects of our life that we might be struggling with or simply reacting to. For Smith, it forced him to confront some of his demons and now, he’s opening up about such struggles with his fans.
In a recent trailer for Smith’s six-part docuseries, Best Shape of My Life, the actor reveals that he contemplated suicide. “This began as a journey to get into the best shape of my life,” he admits, as Smith set out to lose 20 pounds in 20 weeks. The trailer depicts Smith writing his memoirs, exercising and sitting around a table with his children Trey, Willow, and Jaden.
“When I started this show, I thought I was getting into the best shape of my life physically, but mentally I was somewhere else,” he said in a VoiceOver for the series which premieres on November 8. “I ended up discovering a whole lot of hidden things about myself. That was the only time in my life that I ever considered suicide.”
While it’s unclear when the actor had suicidal thoughts, it’s looks like the docuseries won’t shy away from exploring some of the mental health struggles Smith has faced over his career. It’s a poignant reminder to be open, vulnerable and to check-in with your mates, as you never know who might be struggling. In sharing his own story, it’s hoped that others will be encouraged to vocalise their own mental health struggles, too.
And for those that want some fitness inspiration, Best Shape of My Life looks set to do just that. Smith has been regularly updating his followers on social media about his progress and encouraging others to put in the work alongside him. When he first posed topless, tall and proud, showing off the belly that had got him through the pandemic, fans were quick to vocalise their support for the star, with many seeing their own selves reflected in his body image. Smith removed the stigma of weight gain, and not surprisingly many were encouraged to take up his fitness journey in their own lives.
Will Smith: Best Shape of My Life will be released on November 8 via YouTube.
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