The heart-wrenching memory Will Smith shares in Fresh Prince reunion trailer

While COVID-19 has unfortunately delayed the Friends reunion now not once, but twice (via The Hollywood Reporter), Fresh Prince of Bel-Air fans are in luck. Per a trailer dropped today, the show’s cast members are back together for a reunion special, airing November 19 on HBO Max (via Entertainment Weekly).

Taped on the 30th anniversary of the show’s original premiere date, the special finds Will Smith, Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Alfonso Ribeiro, and recurring co-star and fan favorite DJ Jazzy Jeff, reminiscing on the show’s 148-episode run from a recreation of the Banks’ living room. Notably, also included in the special is Janet Hubert, who originated the role of Aunt Viv. Over the years, Hubert has voiced her displeasure with Smith following her replacement, and the reunion special promises a “emotional reunion and a candid conversation” (via Fox News).

The cast reunion comes ahead of Peacock’s upcoming Fresh Prince reboot, which promises to be a grittier look at the world of Bel-Air, executive produced by Smith and based on a 2019 viral video.

Will Smith's memories of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air's James Avery

Sadly missing from the Fresh Prince reunion is the Banks family patriarch, Phil Banks, played by James Avery. Avery passed away on December 31, 2013 at the age of 68, following complications from open heart surgery (via CNN). The trailer for the reunion special features Smith recalling an emotional moment between him and Avery. Smith reveals what really happened behind-the-scenes during a now-famous moment wherein Will asks Uncle Phil of his father, “How come he don’t want me?”

“James Avery was this 6-foot-4 Shakespearean beast and I wanted him to think I was good,” Smith reveals in the trailer, before the clip of that moment plays. “I fall into his arms at the end of the scene and he’s holding me and the shot pans off and he whispered in my ear, ‘Now, that’s acting'” (via Fox News). 

While the reunion includes more somber moments in honor of Avery, it appears to include plenty of laughs as well.

What the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast has been doing

Since Fresh Prince ended after six seasons in May 1996, the cast has certainly kept busy. Smith, of course, has starred in a number of blockbusters like Independence Day, the Men in Black trilogy, the Bad Boys series, I Am Legend, and Hitch, among others. Smith has also been active behind-the-scenes as a producer, and creating his reality show Will Smith’s Bucket List.

Meanwhile, fans of Carlton (played by Alfonso Ribiero) have been able to catch the actor playing a new kind of role: Himself. Since 2015, Ribiero has hosted America’s Funniest Home Videos, hosted the game show Catch 21 from 2008 to 2016, and currently hosts The New Catch 21, the show’s revival that premiered in 2019 (via ScreenRant). Ribiero also appeared on Dancing with the Stars, winning season 19 alongside dance partner Witney Carson.

Will members of the original Fresh Prince be clearing their schedules for the Bel-Air reboot? Well, that’s a topic likely to be discussed in the reunion special. Tune in to find out.

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