The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air’s Alfonso Ribeiro Opens Up About Filming Reunion Special

Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton Banks and Will Smith as himself on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1993)

Fans of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air have had more than a few reasons to celebrate this year. 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the show’s original debut on NBC, and the show’s stars have been celebrating in some fun ways. Not only did they recently tour the beautiful mansion that was featured on the show, but they also shot a reunion special that’s set to air on HBO Max. Now, Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Carlton Banks during the show’s six-season run, has opened up about what it was like to film the retrospective with his castmates.

Alfonso Ribeiro had nothing but warm feelings when looking back on the special and thinks it’s going to be “great” for the fans. But as fun as it was, he sees it as being no different from the many other times he and his Fresh Prince of Bel-Air “family” have gotten together:

It was nice. At the end of the day, I know everyone always likes to make whenever we get together a big moment. I look at it very simply as we always get together. We constantly chat. We're family. It'll be interesting and fun. I think it's going to be a great special. But for us, it was the same as how we always get together. We just enjoy spending time together and loving on each other and I think the world will get to see what we do all the time that's no different than our normal every day, whenever we do get together.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast has been known to catch up quite often, though it’s never happened in a filmed setting. Still, one can understand why doing the reunion special wouldn’t be different in Ribeiro’s eyes.

During his recent chat with TV Insider, Ribeiro also spoke on the long-awaited reunion between Will Smith and original Aunt Viv actress Janet Hubert. Ribeiro confirmed that he and his co-stars did not take part in that segment of the special, but he was still glad to see that the two had a chance to talk things out:

I'm happy for the both of them. We'll see how it plays out on TV. We didn't get to be part of that. I'm happy for the both of them that they were able to clear the air and get through some really ugly past.

Hubert was fired from the show following the third season and was replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid. In the years since the show ended, many have pointed to her difficulties working with Smith as the reason for her dismissal. However, it would now seem that the two have eased the tensions between them.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion special is shaping up to be something truly special, and I think I speak for most fans when I say it will be nice to see Alfonso Ribeiro and his co-stars together again.

And ahead of its premiere, you can revisit classic episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air by streaming them on HBO Max.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.