The Banks are back together!
The 51-year-old gave fans a behind-the-scenes look at the highly-anticipated special when he posted several photos to Instagram on Thursday. In one pic, Smith posed with Alfonso Ribeiro, Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid and DJ Jazzy Jeff on the set. Sadly missing was James Avery. The actor, who portrayed patriarch Philip Banks, died in 2013.
“Today is exactly 30 YEARS since The @FreshPrince of Bel-Air debuted! So we’re doin’ something for y’all… a for real Banks Family Reunion is comin’ soon to @HBOmax! RIP James. #FreshPrince30th,” he captioned he series of snaps.
Another photo showed the Independence Day star and Hubert — who played Aunt Viv on the series — sitting together and smiling. According to Us Weekly, it was the first time the two have been together 27 years.
In a press release, HBO Max confirmed the pair had an “emotional reunion and candid conversation.”
The comment section of Smith’s post quickly lit up, as fans chimed in on the reconciliation.
“Will Smith and OG Aunt Viv (Janet Hubert) for the Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air reunion. Hell done froze over!” one person wrote.
Another fan wrote, “Will Smith and Janet Hubert in the same room … and she’s not slapping the taste out of his mouth. 2020 has truly been a year of s–t I would’ve never seen coming.”
A third person joked, “I’m pretty sure Will Smith and Janet Hubert making up was one of the signs in the book of Revelations.”
In 1993, the 64-year-old left the show after she and Smith repeatedly bumped heads on set. The role of the Banks family matriarch was replaced by Reid for the final three seasons.
“There will never be a reunion … as I will never do anything with an a–hole like Will Smith,” she said at the time. “This constant reunion thing will never ever happen in my lifetime unless there is an apology, which he doesn’t know the word.”
Smith remained cordial, at least publicly, even praising the actress in an interview with BBC Radio 1Xtra in 2016.
“I think that both of the Aunt Vivs were really, really fantastic,” he said. “I think when you make a show, anytime you make a change, it’s going to be excruciating and painful. I think that Janet Hubert Whitten brought a really powerful dignity to the show.”
“I think she’s brilliant. I think as an artist, there’s so many things that she does: She sings, she dances, she’s like a really powerful artist,” he added. “So I loved what she brought to The Fresh Prince.”
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion special is set to premiere in November on HBO Max.
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