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Tags: will smith | suicide | mental health

Will Smith Admits He Once Considered Suicide

will smith stands on red carpet
Will Smith arrives for the premiere of "Gemini Man" at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California, on Oct. 6, 2019. (VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 01 November 2021 09:44 AM

Will Smith's name may be synonymous with comedy, but there was a time when he was in a dark place and contemplated death by suicide. 

The actor made the startling revelation in his six-part YouTube docuseries, scenes of which were previewed in the series' first teaser

"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.

The series started out documenting the "King Richard" star's efforts to shed 20 pounds in 20 weeks but it soon took on a personal nature. Earlier this year, Smith revealed that he had gained a significant amount of weight during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Motivated to get back to his peak physical condition, he set about an intense physical regimen but as his training wore on the actor, who has been writing a memoir, he found himself also unpacking personal issues surrounding his mental health. 

In a scene from the trailer, Smith is seen writing his book, which he says is "exposing my life and so many things that people don’t know about me." At this point Smith, while sitting at a table with his family, says, "that was the only time in my life that I ever considered suicide." It is unclear what period of his life he is referring to, but the actor does admit that he had spent a lot of time hiding behind a facade.

"Now I’m about to show the world how little I know about myself," Smith 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."

Smith has been open about his mental health and past traumas in recent weeks. In a September profile for GQ, which included passages from the book, he shared details about his father's physically abusive nature. 

The topic came about when journalist Wesley Lowery mentioned Smith's upcoming role in "King Richard," which sees him play Richard Williams, the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams. Smith explained that there were similarities between Richard Williams, who was known to be tough on his daughters, and his own father. 

"When I first read the script, I understood what it’s like to want your kids to succeed," he said.

Smith returned to the topic later in the interview, mentioning that his father once punched his mother in the side of the head. In his memoir, Smith wrote that the moment "defined who I am today." His father was "one of the greatest blessings of my life, and also one of my greatest sources of pain," he added.

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TheWire
Will Smith's name may be synonymous with comedy but there was a time when he was in a dark place and contemplated death by suicide. The actor made the startling revelation in his six-part YouTube docuseries...
will smith, suicide, mental health
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2021-44-01
Monday, 01 November 2021 09:44 AM
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