‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’: Will Smith Once Revealed Which Aunt Viv He Thought Was Better

Don’t get us wrong — Janet Hubert and Daphne Maxwell Reid both killed it with their performances as Aunt Vivian in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. But fans still have their favorites. Even Will Smith seems to prefer one over the other.

Though he wouldn’t directly name one actor, he, perhaps tellingly, gave the original star plenty of praise when asked to share his favorite in a throwback interview.

Will Smith
Will Smith on the red carpet at an award show in November 2015 in Beverly Hills, California | Mark Davis/Getty Images

The Aunt Viv Will Smith likes best

When asked to name his favorite Aunt Viv in a 2016 interview with BBC Radio interview, Smith said, “I think that both of the Aunt Vivs were really, really fantastic.”

But as he went on, his focus shifted more to Hubert. “When you make a show, anytime you make a change, it’s going to be excruciating and painful. 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.”

Karyn Parsons as Hilary Banks, Janet Hubert as Vivian Banks, James Avery as Philip Banks, Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton Banks, Tatyana Ali as Ashley Banks, Will Smith as William ‘Will’ Smith | Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank

RELATED: ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’: Janet Hubert, the Original Aunt Viv, Blames Will Smith for Killing Her Career

Hubert was on the show from its debut in 1990 to the end of the third season in 1993. At the time, initial reports cited creative differences as the reason behind her departure. But it later came out that she had been clashing with Smith and other cast members (via E! News). After her exit, Reid was brought for season four and remained on the show until it ended in 1996.

In the years since then, Smith and Hubert have repeatedly taken jabs at each other for a variety of reasons. But earlier in 2020, they signaled that things were turning around when they posed for a photo together.

The cast is set to appear in a special reunion on HBO Max

After decades of waiting, fans will finally get to see the cast back together again in a reunion special for HBO Max, set to air in November.

Karyn Parsons as Hilary Banks, Janet Hubert as Vivian Banks, Will Smith as William 'Will' Smith, and Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton Banks
Karyn Parsons as Hilary Banks, Janet Hubert as Vivian Banks, Will Smith as William ‘Will’ Smith, and Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton Banks | Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank

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After news of the reunion broke, Smith took to Instagram on Sept. 8 and shared a photo with co-stars Reid, Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton), Karyn Parsons (Hilary), Tatyana Ali (Ashley), Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey), and DJ Jazzy Jeff (Jazz).

“Today is exactly 30 YEARS since The @FreshPrince of Bel-Air debuted! So we’re doin’ something for y’all… a for real Banks Family Reunion is comin’ soon to @HBOmax! RIP James. #FreshPrince30th,” he captioned the image, referencing James Avery, who starred on the show as Uncle Phil before his death in 2013.

He also attached a photo showing him and Hubert talking and laughing together.