Will Smith shared the story behind the “dad-bod” Instagram photo that went viral.
While usurping the duty to receive his wife Jada Pinkett Smithweb series of Red table talkthe actor says he’s lost 30 pounds (14kg) since sharing that photo in May 2021 – and a makeover for his new movie role, liberate, release, freeis a catalyst.
“You may remember that I posted the shapeless image… the ‘cha-bod’ picture,” he said in the episode that featured his children: Trey, 30, Jaden , 24 years old, and Willow, 22 years old.
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“The ‘cha-bod’ photo was the first step in preparing me to lose weight for Peter. I’m probably 225-ish [102kg] when i started and the lowest, on film, i hit 195 [88kg].”
In liberate, release, freeA film based on a true story, Smith plays a man named Peter who runs away from a plantation in Louisiana and embarks on an arduous journey from slave to soldier.
The role, he said, “completely changed” Smith’s life in many ways, and drastic weight loss was imperative for the character.
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“For me, physicality is an important part of making people say ‘Oh!’,” he explains. “To be able to transform and control your body as an actor is an important part of suspending cynicism for people.”
The harsh filming conditions as well as two hours of exercise a day also helped Smith lose weight.
“It was really out in the swamp… it was hot, it was uncomfortable,” he recalls. “You are actually in the swamp, your hands are dirty, and you really don’t want to eat.”
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Before losing weight, the actor said he was in the “worst” state of his life when posting a photo of his father’s body that attracted 6.7 million “likes” on Instagram.
In a follow-up video posted that same month, he vowed to end “countless days of grazing in the pantry” while locked up during the pandemic.
“This is the body that got me through a pandemic and countless days grazing in the pantry,” he wrote. “I love this body, but I want to FEEL better. No more midnight muffins…that’s it! I’ll be in the BEST SIZE OF MY LIFE!!!!!”
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