Not everyone looks at aging the same way. For some, 50 is commemorated with all-black balloons and heaps of “over the hill” merchandise, and for others a nice dinner with friends is plenty. Not for Will Smith, who spent his 50th birthday leaping from a helicopter situated hundreds of feet in the air near the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
In a video titled “Will Smith: The Jump,” Smith leaped backward from the helicopter, which hovered outside Grand National Park on the Navajo Nation. He soared through the air, arms reached high above his head, for several long moments before hitting the end of the bungee and springing back up, toward the area where his family and friends were gathered to watch.
The actor joined YouTube in late 2017, and delivered on his promise to make “hot content.”
"There’s a real relationship between freedom & joy, fear actually traps you, my father passed a little over a year ago, and there’s something about the confrontation of death that frees you!" Happy Birthday Will Smith! #WillSmithTheJump pic.twitter.com/X9zAmoglJO
— EBONY MAGAZINE (@EBONYMag) September 25, 2018
Smith was challenged to the stunt by Yes Theory, a group of four men who “believe that life can be as fulfilling and authentic as you wish so long as you are willing to seek discomfort,” according to their website. The livestream of the jump was hosted by Alfonso Ribeiro, who played alongside Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, as Carlton.
Smith was also joined by his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and his three children Trey, Jaden, and Willow.
Smith completed the jump for the charity Global Citizen, according to the BBC. The organization aims to end poverty by the year 2030. The jump will raise money for a project called Education Cannot Wait, which is “dedicated to education in emergencies and protracted crises,” according to their website.
“Life is hard,” Smith said after completing his jump. “Like, yeah you might get hurt. Your heart might get broken, you might lose your job, but you’ve still got to commit. … You might get hurt, you might lose something, but you can’t experience the joy that is intended for you in life if you don’t go. You gotta go man.”