Will Smith Meets Bel-Air Cast At Premiere & Puts On Surprise Performance

Will Smith

Will Smith “vowed” to never touch the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air…until he realized “the depth that we can go to,” with the new re-telling.

Will Smith met the cast of Bel-Air for the very first time on the red-carpet premiere on Wednesday (Feb. 10). 

The re-telling of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” is due to air after the Super Bowl on Sunday. The cast gathered for a premiere at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California.  


“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air premiered in September 1990.” Will Smith told Variety. “That is a testament to the power of the ideas. The power of the concepts, still relevant if not even more so today, of the racial and intra-racial situations.” 

He continued, “It is a beautiful reimagining and the depth that we can go to. There were things we couldn’t say and things we couldn’t do in a half hour sitcom that in a dramatic version of this show, we can take the gloves off and really dive into things in a way.” 

Will Smith also admitted he never thought he would be involved in a remake. “For me, I vowed we would never touch The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” he said. “You leave certain things alone. But when Morgan came up with the idea of the dramatic version…that opening up of new ideas with meat on the bone that we would be able to address, then I got very excited about it.  

Will Smith Told Me To “Be Myself”

Jabari Banks plays the role of the Fresh Prince in the new series and revealed Will Smith hand-picked all of the cast members. “The biggest advice that he told me was just to be myself,” he explained. “Because that’s what he was doing when he was playing the Fresh Prince. He wasn’t trying to be anyone else; he was just up there being himself.”  

Will Smith also discussed his Best Actor Oscar nomination for King Richard saying, “It’s been a pretty eventful two days. This is how we’re celebrating.”  

During the night’s events, Will Smith blessed the stage with a surprise performance. Watch a clip below.