The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion more than lived up to the hype, as it was able to capture the essence of what made the original series so unique and iconic. It also gave Will Smith and his former co-stars a chance to reminisce and pay tribute to the late James Avery, among other things. The biggest highlight of the special, however, was watching Smith sit down with original Aunt Viv actress Janet Hubert and hash out their differences. The two ultimately reconciled after not speaking to each other for nearly 27 years, leading to a warm embrace. And now, Tatyana Ali has revealed another sweet moment audiences didn’t get to see.
Tatyana Ali, who played Ashley Banks throughout The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s six-season run, revealed that there was more to that reunion between Janet Hubert and the rest of the cast. She recently recalled the moment the cast saw Hubert, and it apparently led to a sweet moment that involved fellow Aunt Viv actress Daphne Maxwell Reid and Will Smith:
This is what they didn’t show. They kind of cut this out, not on purpose but for time or whatever. We watched the interview, it was amazing, and then Janet walks around from the screen and we’re all just like, ‘[Gasp], what now?’ And then Daphne got up and said to Janet, ‘Come say hi to your family.’ Janet walks in, Daphne was about to give Janet her chair, and Will said, ‘No, no, no, you keep your seat. Take mine.’
And I thought the moment was emotional enough. Seeing this would have probably left viewers tearing up even more than they already were. Tatyana Ali got a little emotional herself just by talking on Sirius XM’s The Jess Cagle Show. It definitely sounds like it was cathartic for her to watch her cast mates drop their baggage and show love:
It was just so incredible, like that’s how it happened. Everybody just put their stuff down. Whatever that old stuff was, they just put it down. We made something beautiful, and sometimes that’s what forgiveness is, just putting it down.
Ali recently reflected on the feud that erupted between Will Smith and Janet Hubert during the third season of the show. Because she was so young at the time, she was mostly kept away from the drama but, even then, she knew things weren't right.
For her, getting to work with Janet Hubert was very special. Not only did Tatyana Ali look up to her because she was her TV mom but also because she viewed her as a source of representation for a generation of young viewers.
It’s great that Janet Hubert was able to catch up with her co-stars and that she and Will Smith have patched things up. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion gave us a lot, but we should all be grateful for the reconciliation coming out of it as well.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion are available to stream on HBO Max.