Will Smith revealed during a recent interview with GQ his memorable episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The actor, who starred in the sitcom from 1990 to 1996, portrayed a fictionalized character of himself with the same name.
The series followed Smith as his mother sent him to live with his aunt, uncle, and cousins in their Bel-Air mansion. The 53-year-old told the publication that the most special episode to him was the iconic father episode.
The reason behind this choice was because of the “unique” dynamic he had with his co-star the late James Avery who played his uncle in the series. Smith said:
“I think the one that people walk up to me on the street about is the father episode, the one when Will’s father left him. That was a very special one for me. James Avery and I had a really unique father and son relationship on and off-camera. That’s most memorable for me.”
That particular moment occurred in Season 4 Episode 24 entitled “Papa’s Got a Brand New Excuse.” In it, Smith reunites with his estranged father Lou (Ben Vereen). Avery, who played Uncle Phil in the show, raised concern regarding the reunion. Ultimately in the end Uncle Phil’s suspicions were proved correct after Lou bailed on Smith and the summer trip they had planned. During the final moments of that episode, Smith becomes emotional and is quickly embraced by his uncle.
The cast of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air including Smith, Alfonso Ribeiro, Janet Hubert, Karyn Parsons, Tatyana Ali, Daphne Maxwell Reid, and many others all came together last year to celebrate the show’s 30th anniversary and also pay tribute to the sitcom’s patriarch James Avery. Avery tragically passed away back in 2013.
All episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and the reunion special are available to stream on HBO Max.