Will Smith opens up on mental health struggles

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Photo credit: Will Smith - YouTube
Photo credit: Will Smith - YouTube

Note: The following article contains discussion of themes including suicide that some readers may find upsetting.

Will Smith released a new trailer for his upcoming series Will Smith: The Best Shape Of My Life, and it teased the actor opening up about struggles with his mental health.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star created the YouTube Originals series to document two journeys: trying to lose 20 pounds in 20 weeks and finishing his memoir.

The synopsis teased: "But what emerges is a Will Smith that you've NEVER seen before. A Will Smith who realises that what he needs to work on most is his mental health."

Photo credit: Will Smith - YouTube
Photo credit: Will Smith - YouTube

Related: Will Smith reveals the worst movie he's ever made

In the trailer, one scene saw him open up to his family, including his children Trey, Jaden and Willow.

He told them, "That was the only time in my life that I ever considered suicide", although the video didn't reveal the context behind the conversation or the time in his life he was referring to.

In another scene, he read an excerpt from his upcoming autobiography to his loved ones. "What you've come to understand as Will Smith, the alien-annihilating MC, bigger than life movie star, is largely a construction," he read, "a carefully crafted and honed character designed to protect myself, to hide myself from the world. To hide the coward."

Photo credit: Will Smith - YouTube
Photo credit: Will Smith - YouTube

Related: Captain Marvel star Brie Larson announces big career news in emotional video

Speaking directly to the camera, the Aladdin actor said: "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… Now I'm about to show the world how little I know about myself."

The first two episodes of Will Smith: The Best Shape Of My Life will air on YouTube from November 8.


We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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