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Will Smith is opening up about his mental health for his new fitness docuseries Best Shape of My Life, sharing in the first trailer for the series that at one point, he contemplated death by suicide.
The six-part YouTube Originals docuseries chronicles the King Richard star’s efforts to lose 20 pounds in 20 weeks and “get into the best shape of my life.” But the show, which he shot while working on his upcoming memoir Will, doubles as a deep look into the Hollywood A-lister’s life and mental health as an entertainer.
“When I started this show, I thought I was getting into the best shape of my life physically, but mentally, I was somewhere else. I ended up discovering a whole lot of hidden things about myself,” Smith says in the trailer.
As the actor embarks on an intense regimen to get back to his desired peak physical condition after a mentally and physically challenging pandemic year, he begins to question the behaviors behind his success. With the help of his family and others close to him, Smith unpacks how his public persona as one of Hollywood’s most sought-after action stars has served as a defense mechanism for his mental health.
During the trailer, Smith is not only seen working out but writing his book, which he says is “exposing my life and so many things that people don’t know about me.” It’s at this point, while sitting around a table with his family, that the actor mentions “the only time in my life that I ever considered suicide.”
“Now I’m about to show the world how little I know about myself,” he says. “What you’ve come to understand as Will Smith — the alien-annihilating MC, bigger-than-life movie star — is largely a construction. A carefully crafted and honed character designed to protect myself. To hide myself from the world.”
The docuseries is produced by Smith and Pinkett Smith’s production company, Westbrook Media, which is also behind the Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk. The first two episodes of Best Shape of My Life will debut Monday, Nov. 8, one day before Smith’s memoir hits shelves. The remaining four episodes will premiere daily on Will Smith’s official YouTube channel.
Best Shape of My Life is co-showrun by Westbrook’s Lukas Kaiser and co-showrun and directed by Dexton Deboree (Unbanned, Promiseland). The five-day docuseries event is Smith’s second collaboration with YouTube Originals, the first being Will Smith: The Jump. The charity event saw the actor bungee-jump from a helicopter over the Grand Canyon for his 50th birthday in 2018.
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