Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Will Smith reveals James Avery whispered something in his ear during famous emotional scene

Reunion special to air next week

Ellie Harrison
Saturday 14 November 2020 09:30
Trailer for Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion

Will Smith has revealed that James Avery whispered something in his ear during a famous emotional scene in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  

Avery, who portrayed Philip “Uncle Phil” Banks on the series, died in December 2013 aged 68 following complications from open heart surgery.

In the trailer for the forthcoming reunion show, Smith described Avery as a “Shakespearean beast”, and reflected on filming the classic season four episode, “Papa's Got a Brand New Excuse”.

The episode sees Smith perform a teary monologue about his absent father, concluding with the line: “How come he don't want me, man?”

Recalling filming the scene with Avery, Smith said: “I fall into his arms at the end of the scene, and he's holding me and the shot pans off, and he whispers in my ear, 'Now that's acting.’”

The reunion programme, announced in August this year, is set to air on 19 November on HBO Max.

It has been described by HBO Max as “an unscripted special looking back at the series and the cultural impact the series has had since its debut”. It will star – in addition to Smith – Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Alfonso Ribeiro, and DJ Jazzy Jeff.

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