“Bel-Air” is really feeling like home.
At the Corus upfronts this week, Jabari Banks and Adrian Holmes, the stars of the “Fresh Prince” reimagining, sat down with ET Canada’s Morgan Hoffman to talk all about the show.
The two actors came into the interview laughing and joking around with each other like family, which prompted the question, when did they start to feel that way as a cast.
“I think for me, it was season one because we recognized that we were doing something so huge together,” Banks said, describing how a coming onto a show so big for his first major acting role was like “a traumatic experience” for him.
“I was in shock, you know what I mean?” he explained. “And so I had to, like, latch on to the people closest to me. And I was like, ‘Guys, I don’t know what I’m doing.'”
Holmes, who plays Uncle Phillip to Banks’ Will, could relate, telling his co-star, “But it was a mutual feeling. We all felt the same way. We all had to latch on to each other because we knew we were part of something so great, something so huge, and that it was bigger than all of us.”
The actor added, “And for me and him, I feel like he’s a nephew for real. I love this guy. He is the salt of the earth and he’s very talented. And every time we have scenes together, I can relax because I know he shows up ready to work, . He’s focused, he’s got everything. And he also likes to just explore and try new things, which I really commend him for.”
Banks recalled the first real emotional scene the two actors did together, which was also the first scene where he had to be crying on camera.
“It was a lot of pressure,” he said. “But I remember Adrian was like, ‘Hey, take your time.’ He put his hand on my chest. And I was like, ‘Oh, okay, cool.’ Like, he gave me the space.”
Remembering the scene as a special one on set, Holmes described, “Everybody’s behind the monitors and they’re just like really feeling, we’re tugging at everyone’s heartstrings. And that’s what made it all just so worthwhile. We’re like, ‘That’s why we do this.’ It’s why we tell these stories, so that we can have an impact on the culture, in the community and make people feel something, you know?”
Landing the lead role in “Bel-Air” was fitting for Banks, who would actually dress up as “Fresh Prince” characters in high school.
“I for sure manifested this in a in a pretty insane way,” the 24-year-old said, adding that it “felt like the stars aligned,” when he got the role of Will.
“I’m a huge, huge believer in manifestation,” he said, “and I hope to just keep on manifesting.”
Earlier this year, Banks appeared on Global’s “The Drew Barrymore Show”, and the host said that the young actor had “the it factor.”
“When you look up it in the dictionary you see Jabari there,” Holmes joked.
Asked what it felt like hearing that from Barrymore, Banks admitted, “That was a moment for me. I think about that a lot. And she was so warm.”
He remembered her telling him, “Look, this is just me and you. There’s no audience. There’s no one listening. We’re just talking.”
“And I felt like I was like speaking to a family member or like, a long lost cousin or maybe a mother,” Banks said. “I felt very close to her.”