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Will Smith gets in shape mentally, physically in new YouTube series

Writing his upcoming memoir seems to have unlocked a lot of Smith's inner fears.
/ Source: TODAY

A new YouTube series from Will Smith has the two-time Oscar nominee looking to get in the "Best Shape of My Life" — but as a trailer for the six-part unscripted series that dropped Friday reveals, it's about a whole lot more than his physical plan.

Will Smith in "Best Shape of My Life."
Will Smith in "Best Shape of My Life."Will Smith / YouTube

Smith has been on a voyage of self-discovery for a while now; he has a memoir, "Will," out Nov. 9 and it seems that while digging into his past, he's unearthed a lot of doubt and impostor syndrome.

That's what comes through in the trailer, which starts out as a journey to lose 20 pounds in 20 weeks.

"When I started this show, I thought I was getting into the best shape of my life physically," said Smith in the video. "But mentally, I was somewhere else. And I ended up discovering a whole lot of hidden things about myself."

It turns out that he had as much, if not more, emotional weight to firm up. At one point, he even throws in the towel, declaring, "I'm finished with 'The Best Shape of My Life.'"

Smith, showing off a bit of excess.
Smith, showing off a bit of excess.Will Smith / YouTube

Perhaps most shocking are scenes featuring Smith sitting around the table with family members, tearing up and admitting, "That was the only time in my life that I ever considered suicide."

We don't know what he's referring to, but clearly this is no "Fresh Prince" version of "The Biggest Loser."

It might even turn out to be more inspirational. As Smith notes, "What you have come to understand about Will Smith, the alien-annihilating, bigger-than-life movie star ... is largely a construction. A carefully crafted and honed character designed to protect myself from the world. ... To hide the coward."

Smith takes on the gym and himself.
Smith takes on the gym and himself.Westbrook Media for YouTube

But even if we don't know Smith, or the Smith who's been hiding from us, we suspect there's going to be a return to top form for the actor before it's all over.

"Best Shape of My Life" premieres on Nov. 8 on Smith's official YouTube channel, with episodes rolling out for the next five days after that.

If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741 or visit for additional resources.