Tyrese: “I Needed Help”
Tyrese always worked hard. He grew up as the youngest of four kids in a single-parent household, and he got his big break after seeing a sign posted in his high school saying Coca-Cola was looking for an African-American male for a commercial. So he literally hopped on the bus to get to the audition (just like in the commercial) and landed the part. But the road to get there was a rough one to say the least.
“My childhood was probably one of the worst childhood experiences ever. You’re talking about gangs and prostitution, drugs and physically being there witnessing murders happening and my mom being alcoholic for seven years, so nothing about my childhood was easy.”
“My neck used to hurt because I used to walk, like, two miles to get to the bus stop. It was a bus called the Dash that only cost a quarter. The RTD (Rapid Transit District bus) was about a dollar 35 (and) I definitely didn’t have that. My neck was hurting because I would walk from my house all the way to the bus stop, hoping that I’d run into some change on the way to the bus stop, trying to get to school.”
Gibson reveals he has since addressed his childhood problems in therapy and he now realizes that the feelings of hunger he experienced as a kid are what fueled his drive to study and eventually succeed.
He adds, “I was hungry all the time and I had a problem with being hungry and not being able to eat… There was food at school; there’s breakfast and there’s lunch.” So he went to school religiously to eat and found out he could find success in the curriculum too.
As time went on into adulthood, for a moment it seemed like there was nothing that he touched that did not turn to gold: movies, books, albums, etc. He began to take jobs for granted and started feeling entitled, so he stopped working hard. His attitude went from “I’m working hard for this” to “This is mine” – and he just stopped caring. He packed on the pounds, nearly 50 lbs to be exact, and saw his career take a downturn while everything else fell to pieces.
When the offers stopped coming and his once-chiseled body, the same body that would get girls swooning every time, started to go away too, he knew something needed to be done.
One day, Gibson stood naked in a mirror and saw a confused, 248-pound man. He had some hard choices to make. And now, 2 years later, he smiles at his nearly 50lb lighter reflection.
For once, Tyrese was thankful that mirrors steam up when you take a shower, so he wouldn’t have to see his reflection.
Admittedly, Tyrese only managed to break free from being complacent when he met Will Smith, a man who had the ability to…