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Janet Hubert Admits Decades-Long Feud With Will Smith Felt Like ‘Being In Prison For 27 Years’

The actress who initially performed Aunt Viv on ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ reveals what it feels wish to lastly finish her bitter disagreement together with her TV nephew.

For practically three a long time Janet Hubert, 64, has been attempting to salvage her status. Now, after HBO Max premiered its Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion particular, she seems like a wrongfully convicted assassin who has lastly succeeded in convincing the world that she’s harmless. Since it began streaming on Nov. 19, followers have watched as Janet hugged and shed tears together with her former on-screen nephew, Will Smith, lastly placing to mattress a prolonged, bitter feud.

“People keep asking, ‘How do you feel?’” Janet says. “And I [say], ‘Like a person who’s been in prison for 27 years, who knew they didn’t rob the bank; who knew they didn’t kill or murder that person and everybody has accused you.’”

Will Smith and Janet Hubert delighted followers by reconciling on HBO Max’s ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ reunion particular. (AP/Splash News)

It will get higher. Not solely does Janet really feel a way of peace, the reconciliation that she and Will, 52, had in entrance of the digicam wasn’t only for present. Since they reconnected again in September the actress says they’ve remained involved.

“Will and I have been corresponding and texting back and forth. It’s just wonderful to have this weight, this albatross from around my neck that was only put there by the media, the cast, talk show hosts,” she tells HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY.

Janet has good purpose to be upset, to “despise fame.” When The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air burst on to the scene in 1990 it was an enormous hit. While it turned a younger rapper from Philly right into a bankable, Oscar-nominated Hollywood star, it introduced Janet – an acclaimed Broadway actress – worldwide publicity and legions of followers. As Will’s on-screen Aunt Viv, she was poised and chic, boasted an ideal bone construction, fast wit and a pointy tongue. She didn’t undergo fools and will slay her enemies with a chilly glare.

But she was enjoyable too. The fictional faculty professor who lived in Bel-Air together with her lawyer husband and their three youngsters, might get down with the most effective of them and was prepared to whip off her earrings to battle if she needed to.

Fresh Prince of Bel Air cast
The unique ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ solid, together with Janet Hubert and Will Smith. (NBC Studios/The Everett Collection)

Then, she was gone. From Season four onwards, actress Daphne Maxwell Reid took on the function. “The misconception of me was that I was haughty, difficult, wanted to be the star of the show,” Janet stated on the reunion particular. That unhealthy status haunted her and she lost everything, together with her dwelling.

The reality, Janet says, was far totally different. In actuality, she stated on the HBO Max reunion, she’d solely been supplied a 10-week contract that prohibited her from working for anybody else. It was a deal that she couldn’t afford to take. She additionally stated that she was “banished” to her dressing room between takes as a result of she didn’t chortle at Will’s jokes. For his half, on the reunion particular he appeared shocked to search out out that, pregnant and in an sad marriage, she was going through her personal challenges. Laughing and joking on set was not on the forefront of her thoughts.

Janet Hubert, Daphne Maxwell Reid
When Janet Hubert left the present, Daphne Maxwell Reid (proper) took on the function of Aunt Viv. (NBC Studios/The Everett Collection)

But the parable of Janet being tough to work with continued till very not too long ago and it was this that partly prompted her to set the wheels in movement that led to the reconciliation. During an August 2020 interview on the Hip Hop Uncensored podcast, Joseph Marcell (who performed Geoffrey, the British butler on the present) stated that, whereas he “respected” Janet, she struggled to just accept that Will was the sitcom’s star. “I feel that perhaps Janet was not able to deal with that,” he stated.

“[That] really put me in hell,” Janet says of the interview, “and I was trying to understand why he did it.” Around the identical time she came upon concerning the HBO Max particular. She wrote to the community and to Red Table Talk, the Facebook Watch present that Will’s spouse Jada Pinkett Smith, daughter Willow and mother-in-law Adrienne Banfield-Norris co-host. The actress had a problem.

“I said, ‘Either you sit down with me and the cast sit down with me and we clear this, because only you and I, Will, know what really happened… or shut up for the rest of your life about it because I’m tired of it and I’m not going to serve…another 30-year sentence for something that I did not do.’”

To her shock Will and his staff really needed her on the reunion particular. Within a day of getting that info Janet was on a airplane from her dwelling in New Jersey to movie the reunion in Los Angeles.

Janet Hubert
Janet tweeted concerning the reunion present after it premiered on HBO Max on Nov. 19. (Twitter)

Looking again on their feud Janet believes that “a lot of misunderstanding” was created by she and Will not “being able to sit down and talk honestly.” “Power can really make you, sometimes close your ears,” she says. “All one thinks about when one has power over everyone’s life is maybe themselves. And he owned that and I respect that, highly.”

In a bittersweet twist the reunion that was 27 years within the making might have occurred again in 2009 when Janet says she reached out to Will to make peace. It was a message he stated was not handed on to him. This yr, nonetheless, the time was proper.

“He’s a different person and I’m a different person and I want healing,” Janet says. “It’s 2020 and after the evils of President Donald Trump, 4 years of that, and COVID, I don’t need this ugly in my life anymore.” Or, as she put it on the finish of a Nov. 19 tweet after the present premiered, “Life is too short.”

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