We all know Will Smith from “Men In Black” and “Shark Tales”. He is now 53 years old. When I first heard of the “Best shape of my life” series, I thought it was going to be no more than footage of Smith in the gym. To my surprise, the series turned out to be charismatic and relatable.
“What you've come to understand as 'Will Smith', the alien annihilating MC, the bigger than life movie star, is largely a construction," Smith says. "A carefully crafted and honed character designed to protect myself. To hide myself from the world. To hide the coward.”
Smith decided to film “Best shape of my life” as a sort of motivation. Quarantine gave him an extension on his autobiography and he began to work even slower. Before COVID, he starred in a movie, “King Richard”, where he was required to gain weight. Smith continued to gain weight over quarantine.
“I am legend to I am luggage,” Smith said. “I thought I was going to show the world how Will Smith gets in shape...I had no idea what I was really about to show the world.”
He considered the cameras to be a sponsor in his journey. Smith said it is the greatest peer pressure there is. His goal was to lose 20 pounds in 20 weeks in addition to completing his memoir, “Will,” in that same time period. “Will” is due to be published this November.
A post on social media sparked the idea. Smith posted a shirtless photo with the caption “I’m in the worst shape of my life”. This post inspired a social media movement of dad’s posting their post COVID bodies. Smith wanted to show the world that he was comfortable in his body even though he was in fact in the worst shape of his life.
“I’ve spent a lot of years worried about people's perception of me,” Smith said in the opening of episode one. “I’m comfortable with me. I am me.”
After week one, Smith gained a pound. At week 15, he broke down and decided to change the direction of the series. While talking with his three children, Smith admitted that he discovered many hidden things about himself.
“That was the only time in my life that I ever considered suicide,” Smith said while sitting around a table with his three children.
“What starts as a docu-follow about Will’s desire to go from the ‘worst shape’ of his life to a new movie star body evolved into a deeper, darker and more profound journey into Will’s psyche,” reads the show’s description.