Updated: Nov 12, 2021
Will Smith's new YouTube series Best Shape of My Life, is full of laughable, uplifting and vulnerable moments. But perhaps the most notable bit of Monday's two premiere episodes was his climb to the top of the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
The building is 2,722 feet tall and has 160 floors. In episode two, My Secret Shame, the 53-year-old made his mission to reach the top after a disappointing start to his weight loss and journey as a book author.
The episode began with the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum reading a chapter from his upcoming autobiography. He recalled his childhood with his militant father, Willard Carroll Smith, Sr.
My father was my hero," he began as he described his parent. He demanded strict perfection from himself and those around him.
He told an anecdote about the time he was 11 years old, and his father required him and his brother to put up a new wall at the front of his shop.
'He thought it would be a good project for my brother Harry and me,' Will explained. I remember the number of times I stared at the hole, completely discouraged.
But his father, whom he called Daddy-O, stopped him and his brother in their tracks and told them, 'Stop thinking about that damn wall. Your job is to lay this brick perfectly and then move on to the next brick.
After almost a year, the brothers were proud to have accomplished the challenging task and learned perseverance.
Now that the goals the comedian had set for himself as a middle-aged adult seemed daunting, he thought back to the lesson he had learned as a child.
After working with a trainer for two weeks and very slowly dropping the pounds, Will declared, "I have never looked this bad. But I am going to change it.
'Dubai fits my personality. It just speaks to how I see the world, how I see life,' he said. 'If you are going to build a building, should not you try to build the Burj Khalifa?
And he explained his mindset: 'I want to get my body and mind in the best shape possible so that I feel good and look good and am in a state that allows me to write this book.'
The star, married to Red Table Talk presenter Jada Pinkett-Smith, walked up the hundred-plus flights of stairs to do his cardio workout when he scaled the erection.
In the footage, Will is sweaty and tired as he moves forward. When he finally reached the 160th floor, he realised he could accomplish even more.
Although he had made it to the highest interior level, he learned that he could go even higher, to the top of the building.
Strapped into a harness and helmet, the I Am Legend actor climbed a ladder to access the top of the tower, the "individual highest point a human can be in a man-made structure on Earth."
Drone footage showed the Hollywood star emerging triumphantly from the top of the building. When he fully emerged from the building, he stretched out both arms and enjoyed the view with a big smile on his face.
In May, Smith posted a shocking photo on Instagram that went viral. It showed the longtime entertainer in the "worst shape" of his life.
Will set two goals: lose 20 pounds and finish his autobiography in 20 weeks.
This prompted him to launch the YouTube series Best Shape of My Life.
But the intentional weight gain was exacerbated by the March 2020 pandemic outbreak.
Now he's ready to share about the recent ups and downs in his life, as he's worked hard to keep his eye on his goal and get back on a healthy track.
The heartfelt series features intimate scenes from the real life of the author and producer as he struggles through bad days and laughs at light-hearted moments.
Will's children - Trey, 28, whom he shares with ex-wife Sheree Zampino, Jaden, 23, and Willow, 21 - also feature in the series.
And a sneak peek of the next episode shows his longtime partner Jada getting in on the action.
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