YouTube is getting in on the Sundance Documentary Film Festival hype with a series starring rapper and actor Will Smith. The new program, “Coming Home,” debuts at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday and contains eight different episodes that will detail the 24-year relationship between Smith and his mother, Shirley Caesar.
All of the episodes focus on different aspects of the relationship, including when Smith lost his parents at a young age and how his mother showed her love for him. The show was directed by his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
In a trailer for the series, viewers see Will Smith lose himself in the video, in which he prepares to turn himself into a pig in a barrel and jump into the swimming pool of his childhood home. The clip, which Smith announced in a video on Twitter, ends with him confessing his thoughts of suicide: “I can’t go back. There’s nothing I can do.”
The trailer certainly seems to imply a deeper drama in Smith’s life, but the rapper and actor has always been candid about his struggles. He previously said that, had it not been for his mother, he would have been in jail.
In an interview with The Washington Post in March, he discussed one of the most difficult moments in his life: “When I was getting ready to shoot the movie ‘Ali,’ I was on the phone with my mother. We were talking about some real crazy stuff,” he said. “I was about to send some drugs down to some people, and I called my mother and I said, ‘I don’t want to be a drug dealer. I don’t want to have anything to do with that.’ She said, ‘We’ll come find you and kill you if we have to.’ And she had a pistol in her hand, and I was like, ‘Alright, Mom, whatever.’ So she wasn’t prepared for me to have to do that.”
Smith also revealed that his mother’s handgun was a gift.
The Guardian reported that some of the other episodes include Smith and his mother’s concerns about the conditions of their home, the future of the neighborhoods they grew up in and his early experiences with drugs and alcohol.
Smith’s latest film “Collateral Beauty” hit theaters in December.