Will Smith Jumps ‘Off The Deep End’ Into Shark Infested Waters for Shark Week

Will Smith is known for his acting, comedy, and music. But this summer, he’s adding Shark Week star to his resume. The Hollywood a-lister is making his Discovery Channel debut with Will Smith: Off The Deep End. Here’s the scoop on Smith’s exciting new Shark Week special.

Will Smith
Will Smith | VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Will Smith swam with sharks for his ‘Bucket List’ series

In 2019, in an episode of his Facebook series, Bucket List, Smith reveals that he developed a real fear of sharks after watching Steven Speilberg’s 1978 classic, Jaws. The award-winning actor and musician then goes to the Bahamas to face his fears and swim with tiger sharks. 

“We’re in the Bahamas, and I’m about to do my bucket list, diving with sharks,” he says in the episode. “When I came up with this bucket list idea, in my mind I was in a cage. I wasn’t like, diving free, wide open with the sharks.”

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In the video, Smith says that after living through his numerous successes, he’s still searching for more. “I’ve achieved everything I’ve ever dreamed, and the major thing that I’m still seeking is I know there’s more than that,” he admits. “And my fear of the unknown is keeping me from that divine wisdom. When you’re not afraid to die, you’re no longer afraid to live.”

He hopes to overcome his fears

The idea of swimming with sharks is terrifying for most people, and Smith is no different. In the Bucket List episode, the actor was visibly nervous before jumping into the swarm of lemon sharks and tiger sharks beneath him. 

“I hate being scared. I hate it,” Smith says. “My whole childhood was marked by debilitating fear. It’s like, you can’t be happy if you’re scared. I just don’t want to be scared of anything, and how you get over it is you confront the fear.”

After diving in, Smith starts getting comfortable with the sharks. He even musters enough courage to nudge them out of his way. “Nothing in life will ever feel like that,” he says to the camera after the swim. “The reason you push the envelope is because the rest of life gets more enjoyable.”

‘Will Smith: Off The Deep End’ premieres during Shark Week

Smith is making his Shark Week debut with Will Smith: Off The Deep End. The Discovery Channel is keeping details about the new special under wraps. But according to the synopsis, it will feature Smith “diving headfirst into action, excitement, and shark-infested waters, as he confronts his fear of the open seas and the open jaws of nature’s fiercest predators.”

The special is produced by Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s production house, Westbrook Media. Will Smith: Off The Deep End airs Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 9 p.m. ET on the Discovery Channel.