Will Smith Janet Hubert

Will Smith Responds to Fresh Prince's Janet Hubert Drama: She's 'Brilliant'

You’ll never guess which Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star dropped this little gem in a recent interview: “I think that both of the Aunt Vivs were really, really fantastic.”

OK, you probably guessed it was Will Smith. (Did the headline give it away? Was it the photo?)

Either way, Smith’s comments came Monday during an interview with BBC Radio 1Xtra, when he was asked to reveal his Aunt Viv of choice — the original, Janet Hubert, who recently slammed his proposed Oscars boycott, or Daphne Maxwell Reid, who replaced her in Season 4.

“When you make a show, any time you make a change, it’s going to be excruciating and painful,” he added. “I think that Janet Hubert Whitten brought a really powerful dignity to the show. She’s brilliant … as an artist. She sings, she dances. She’s, like, a really powerful artist. So I loved what she brought to The Fresh Prince.”

Unlike his character on the ’90s sitcom, who never used his head in tough situations, Smith clearly took a diplomatic approach to his answer. But because we, the people, aren’t beholden to such standards, it’s time to weigh in:

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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14 Comments
  1. Morgan says:

    Janet Hubert.

  2. That’s why I love Will Smith. He could have said something nasty back but he didn’t. That’s what you do to haters, kill them with kindness. Plus I bet that just burned up Orig Aunt V lol

    • Delirious says:

      Are you sure about that? Am I the only one reading further into the whole “She’s brilliant … as an artist” thing?

  3. Viv #2 was an awful actress

  4. Brian says:

    Janet Hubert killed it as Aunt Viv. Second Aunt Viv was blah in the role. Always upstaged & forgettable.

  5. leo21 says:

    Janet Hubert was the best. But I have a hard time knocking Daphne Maxwell Reid because she was filling someone else’s shoes in a type of show that she wouldn’t have ever done well in. All the best choices to replace Hubert were already cast as her sisters.

    • Stacy says:

      My thoughts exactly – replacing another actor makes it near impossible to make the role your own. Heck, Sarah Chalke was once known as “Second Becky” on Roseanne. She’s a great actress who has gone on to have a great career, but I always associate that role with the original actress and vibe.

  6. pblo78 says:

    Aunt Vivian was, is and will be the first one… the second one, she is the second wife of Uncle Phil who has the same name… but was nothing related.

  7. Jeri says:

    Why wait so long to make a statement? Kind of self serving at this point. See what a nice am!!??

  8. Ebby says:

    Say what you will about other members of the Smith Family, but Will has always been the one with class. Bravo.

  9. cindy says:

    Tyler Perry or Ophrah should give her a TV show. She is a great actress. She’s a strong, open and vocal person. She keeps it real. I hope one day she and Will Smith put that old feud behind them and maybe work together again. She is a win win on any show.

    • Reunion on O ! says:

      Absolutely Cindy. The episode that Carlton went to MacArthur Park, tell me you didn’t feel the butt kicking coming when she took the earrings off. Phenomenal moment for a sitcom. Fresh Prince was perfectly cast.