Why Will Smith refuses to watch Fresh Prince
THE Fresh Prince of Bel-Air may be a cult classic, but its star Will Smith has no interest in ever watching it again.
The actor recently revealed that he avoids the re-runs of his hit 90s show whenever they're on TV - because they make him cringe.
"If you watch the first four or five episodes you can see I'm mouthing other people's lines," Smith said on The Graham Norton Show.
"It's terrible and I can't bear to watch it."
Smith, 49, claims he was focused on success so he learned everyone's lines.
While some '90s shows are on the reboot track, Smith isn't sure Fresh Prince will get the same treatment.
"Man, I'd have to be Uncle Phil in that one now. I'm nearly 50!" he quipped.
There's also turmoil within the original cast.
TV mum Janet Hubert has been at odds with Smith over the last several years. And Smith's TV uncle, James Avery, died in 2013.
In August, Smith once again dismissed reboot rumours telling Entertainment Tonight, "Nah man, you can't touch stuff like that. It's so nostalgic for people - I'm not going nowhere near that."
With no reboot in sight, here are some facts about the show to ease the pain:
WILL SMITH HAD A LOT OF POWER:
Before The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Smith had only acted on TV once.
But despite that, the NBC network thought he was a star and he had a surprising amount of creative control.
"NBC wanted us to make Carlton [Alfonso Ribeiro] cool, and we said, 'No, he's a great foil,' and won on that because Will weighed in and said, 'Absolutely not, this is what makes the comedy,'" said show creator Susan Borowitz to Time.
"[The network] didn't want to hire Joseph Marcell, who played Geoffrey the butler, because he wasn't a name. They wanted us to go with Ron Glass who was on Barney Miller. Luckily, Will said, 'No, I like the British guy with the big nose.'"
Janet Hubert, who played Aunt Vivian on the show, didn't see eye-to-eye with Will Smith and quit the show in 1993.
She later blasted the sitcom's star in 2011 when asked by TMZ if she'd ever consider appearing in a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion.
"There will never be a reunion ... as I will never do anything with an a**hole like Will Smith," said Hubert.
"He is still an egomaniac and has not grown up. This constant reunion thing will never ever happen in my lifetime unless there is an apology, which he doesn't know the word."
According to Smith, Hubert quit the show and hasn't been very nice since because she's jealous of his career.
"[Hubert] said once, 'I've been in the business for 10 years and this snotty-nosed punk comes along and gets a show.' No matter what, to her I'm just the Antichrist," said Smith on radio.
THE ORIGINS OF THE CARLTON DANCE:
Everyone knows about the iconic Carlton dance, which was created by actor Alfonso Ribeiro.
But how did he come up with it?
"The Carlton Dance was created when it said in the script: 'Carlton dances,'" said Robeiro to Variety.
"It was never even intended to be funny; it was just that he was dancing.
"The dance is ultimately Courteney Cox in the Bruce Springsteen video Dancing in the Dark; that's the basis. Or in Eddie Murphy's Delirious video, 'The White Man Dance' as he called it. And I said, 'That is the corniest dance on the planet that I know of, so why don't I do that?'"
Will Smith first met his future wife, Jada Pinkett, when she auditioned for the role of his girlfriend on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
She was just 19 years old at the time and missed out on the role because she was too short.
Instead, the character of Beulah "Lisa" Wilkes was played by Nia Long.
But Pinkett obviously made a big impression on Smith and the two started hanging out.
"We went out for dinner one night [with mutual friends] and I saw that he had grown from this lanky kid to this really responsible man," said Pinkett Smith.
Will Smith took the young actor to Mexico for their first date and three years later they got married on New Year's Eve in 1997.
The most powerful scene from the whole series was when Will's dad bailed on a planned father/son trip. An upset Will then delivered an emotional speech to Uncle Phil, who was played by James Avery. Apparently, Will Smith adlibbed the whole speech and Avery was so moved by it that he hugged Smith at the end of the scene, which wasn't in the script.
This story originally appeared in the NY Post and is republished here with permission.