Will Smith, ‘Fresh Prince’ cast reminisce in new trailer: ‘Our show meant Black excellence
Now this is a story all about how our lives got flipped-turned upside down Friday when Will Smith released the trailer and premiere date for the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” reunion.
Smith, who found his breakout role in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” revealed the highly anticipated “30 years in the making” reunion special will be streaming Thursday on HBO Max.
The sitcom last aired in May 1996, and Friday’s trailer brought back all our favorite memories from the series. The trailer starts off with Smith telling the camera “you’ve probably seen the picture, I posted it about a month ago, me and the whole ‘Fresh Prince’ cast, but you … couldn’t be ready for this trailer.”
And he was right. We were not ready.
The entire cast of the Banks family, all grown up, is reunited back at their old stomping grounds: The set of their Bel-Air mansion living room where many arguments ensued and jokes were cracked.
In the trailer, we see Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton), Tatyana Ali (Ashley), Karyn Parsons (Hilary), Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey), Daphne Etta Maxwell Reid (New Aunt Viv) and DJ Jazzy Jeff (Jazz) all seated around the living room reminiscing about their days on the show. Some things came to light like how Reid initially was turned off by doing a show with a “rapper” and how Smith had to ask Jeff about 10 times to appear on the sitcom.
The cast also honored James Avery (Uncle Phil), who died in 2013. Ali remembered him as “the heart of the show,” while Smith referred to him as a “Shakesperean beast” whom Smith worked to impress with his acting.
Ali and Parsons reflected on how impactful the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” was for its time.
“Our show meant Black excellence to people. The excellence was the way that we loved each other,” Ali said.
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The trailer didn’t end without giving us a peek into what we can expect from the reunion special.
“I couldn’t celebrate 30 years of ‘Fresh Prince’ without Janet (Hubert),” Smith said as we see the original Aunt Viv walk on the set to surprised faces.
Smith and Hubert sat down in September despite years of public feuding.
The former co-stars have clashed in the past, with Hubert memorably telling TMZ in 2011 Smith was “an egomaniac” who “has not grown up.”
Hubert, who departed the show in 1993, elaborated on her exit in an interview with omg! Insider in May 2013, saying Smith did “some heinous, horrible things to me.”
“(Smith) said ‘we’re just gonna replace her and act like nothing happened,’” she said. “Well honey, that is not what happened, is it? The world has let me know that my place on that show was very, very, very loved.”
She said she felt “demonized and beaten up.”
In 2011 she told TMZ: “There will never be a reunion … as I will never do anything with an (expletive) like Will Smith. This constant reunion thing will never ever happen in my lifetime unless there is an apology, which he doesn’t know the word.”