Will Smith opened up about his recent weight loss after he took over hosting an episode of his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s Facebook talk show Red Table Talk.
In the full episode, which was released Wednesday, the 54-year-old Oscar winner spoke about how starring in his new Apple TV+ film Emancipation.
Will explained that the role — which was recently snubbed by the Golden Globe Awards — inspired him to lose some serious weight after he posted a photo of himself with a ‘dad bod’ that subsequently went viral.
He hosted the episode of Red Table Talk with his and Jada’s children Jaden, 24, and Willow, 22, as well as his oldest son Trey, 30, from his first marriage to Sheree Zampino.
Going lean: Will Smith, 54, subbed in for his wife Jada Pinkett Smith on Wednesday in an episode of Red Table Talk in which he opened up about losing 30lbs to star in Emancipation
The actor said that playing a character inspired by the former slave known as Whipped Peter ‘absolutely changed’ his life and inspired him to make a major life change.
‘You guys may remember I posted the out of shape — the “dad bod” picture,’ he recalled. ‘The “dad bod” picture was my beginning of preparation to lose weight for Peter. I was probably 225-ish when I started and at the lowest, on the movie, I got to 195 [pounds].’
He previously shared that his time at home in the early days of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic led to more eating than usual. Coupled with a more sedentary lifestyle than usual, it made him put on weight.
His Instagram photo, which was shared in May of 2021, showed him in a blue, white and black hoodie that was left unzipped to reveal his shirtless torso and fleshy stomach.
‘I’m gonna be real wit yall — I’m in the worst shape of my life,’ he wrote at the time.
The beginning: He started his weight loss journey with a viral photo of himself sporting a ‘dad bod’ at ‘225-ish’ pounds. He called it the ‘worst shape’ of his life
Slimming down: Will told his children Trey, 30; Jayden, 24; and Willow, 22, that he lost around 30 pounds to star in his Apple TV+ film Emancipation, in which he starred as a former slave
Will described wanting to slim down for his own health and satisfaction, though it was also the correct choice to play a formerly enslaved man.
He explained how being thinner would help put audiences on the same page with his portrayal in Emancipation
‘For me, the physicality is a big part of what makes people go, “Woah!”‘ he shared. ‘To be able to transition and manipulate your body as an actor is a big part of the suspension of disbelief for people.’
Smith went through the standard diet and exercise regimen to get into shape for his part, but he continued to shed pounds even after filming started due to the less-than-sanitary conditions.
‘Actually being out in the swamps… it’s hot, it’s nasty,’ he revealed. ‘You’re actually in the swamp, so your hands are dirty so you don’t really want to grab food and eat.’
That helped: ‘Actually being out in the swamps … it’s hot, it’s nasty,’ he revealed. ‘You’re actually in the swamp, so your hands are dirty so you don’t really want to grab food and eat’
Getting into characer: ‘For me, the physicality is a big part of what makes people go, “Woah!”‘ he explained. ‘To be able to transition and manipulate your body as an actor is a big part of the suspension of disbelief for people’
Will turned the first stage of his weight loss and film preparation into the YouTube original series Best Shape Of My Life.
The episodes highlighted how out of shape he had gotten and featured his attempts to lose the weight, but they also delved into dark personal matters.
Smith was featured with his mother Caroline Bright as the two discussed the abuse she suffered at the hands of his father.
In one particularly painful moment, he confessed to her that the only time he had ever contemplated suicide in his life was after witnessing his father attack her, and his belief that he failed to protect her led him to feel like a ‘coward.
Difficult conversation: Smith previously documented his weight loss in the show Best Shape Of My Life, which included discussion with his mother about how his father abused her