The ultimate guest just RSVP’d to HBO Max’s Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion special. Janet Hubert, whose behind-the-scenes issues with Will Smith led to her early departure as the original Aunt Viv, is sitting down with Smith on camera for the first time in 27 years.
Smith on Thursday shared two behind-the-scenes pictures from the highly anticipated special, including an emotional shot (above) of him sitting down with Hupert. He also shared this shot of the other cast members participating in the reunion: Tatyana Ali (Ashley), Karyn Parsons (Hilary), Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey), Daphne Maxwell Reid (Aunt Viv No. 2), DJ Jazzy Jeff (Jazz) and Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton). Sadly, James Avery — who played beloved family patriarch Philip Banks — died in 2013.
The reunion is expected to debut sometime around Thanksgiving. Check out Smith’s group photo (taken on what appears to be a recreation of the show’s set) below:
According to HBO Max’s official release, Smith surprised the rest of the cast while filming the reunion special by revealing that he filmed a separate conversation with Hubert. The experience was described as “an emotional reunion and a candid conversation” 27 years in the making.
Smith and Hubert’s tumultuous personal and professional relationship has been well-documented over the years. The actress even discussed it in her 2009 book Perfection Is Not a Sitcom Mom. To say that Fresh Prince fans were not expecting Hubert to appear in this reunion is an understatement.
In other Fresh Prince news, Peacock recently gave a two-season order to Bel-Air, a dramatic reimagining of the classic sitcom. The project is based on a viral parody trailer by Morgan Cooper, who joins Smith as an executive producer.
Take a good look at the behind-the-scenes photos above, then drop a comment with your thoughts on the reunion below.