Will Smith is looking to conquer his fears with his much-hyped bungee jump over the Grand Canyon next week — all to benefit an educational charity.
Before he officially accepted the Grand Canyon challenge, Smith and his crew last year traveled to Africa’s Victoria Falls, the famous 355-foot waterfall in Zimbabwe, for his first-ever bungee jump. On Thursday, the actor-comedian-rapper shared a video documenting the experience (at this link), which involved towels being wrapped around his ankles.
“You know, you say ‘yes’ to things long before you actually know what they are,” Smith says in the video. He also rode a motorcycle for the first time as part of gearing up for “The Jump.”
“Will Smith: The Jump” will take place on Sept. 25, the actor’s 50th birthday, and will be live-streamed on his YouTube channel. He’s doing the stunt to raise awareness and donations for international advocacy organization Global Citizen’s education campaigns, through a contest in which one winning fan and a guest will attend “The Jump” in person with him next Tuesday.
How did Smith, an action-movie star on the big screen, end up starring in the real-life daredevil stunt? The story is that the creators behind YouTube channel Yes Theory challenged Smith to bungee jump from a helicopter. He accepted on the condition that the jump be done for charity.
Popular on Variety
The Yes Theory guys — Matt Dajer, Thomas Brag, and Ammar Kandil, who met at Canada’s McGill U. — started the YouTube channel as a way to challenge themselves (and viewers) to get out of their comfort zones. Previously, the trio had teamed with Elisabeth Murdoch’s Vertical Networks in 2015 to host a show on Snapchat Discover, and four other series.
Since Smith accepted their challenge, Yes Theory has been promoting the Grand Canyon jump. The channel last month invited people to submit videos about their fears and to take the pledge to overcome it by running one mile; Yes Theory received more than 27,000 submissions and the resulting video compilation has more than 500,000 views.
Details of the timing for YouTube’s “Will Smith: The Jump” live-stream on Sept. 25 have yet to be released. Smith’s Westbrook Entertainment will produce the live stream in conjunction with Fly on the Wall Entertainment.
Smith launched his YouTube channel in December 2017 and has amassed nearly 3.4 million subscribers to date.
Watch Smith’s first bungee jump, over Victoria Falls: