'I think she's brilliant,' he says of the original Aunt Viv
A few weeks after Will Smith’s former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air costar Janet Hubert criticized him and wife Jada Pinkett Smith for their plan to sit out the Oscars, Smith has made it clear there’s no bad blood on his side.
During a recent interview with BBC Radio 1Xtra, Smith had nothing but positive things to say about Hubert, who portrayed Aunt Viv on three seasons of the popular ’90s sitcom before being replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid.
“I think that both of the Aunt Vivs were really, really fantastic,” a diplomatic Smith said when asked which costar he preferred. “I think when you make a show, any time 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.”
He continued, “I think she’s brilliant, you know. I think as an artist, there’s so many things that she does: She sings, she dances, she’s like a really powerful artist. So I loved what she brought to The Fresh Prince.”
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Hubert has been critical of Smith over the years, and last month released a video calling out him and Pinkett Smith. She argued that their Oscar abstension is hypocritical and motivated by Smith getting passed over for Concussion.
“Maybe you didn’t deserve a nomination,” Hubert said in the video. “I didn’t think, frankly, you deserved a Golden Globe nomination with that accent, but you got one.”
For more from Smith, including some thoughts on accents, entertainment nostalgia (Independence Day sequel, Bad Boys 3), and the challenges of parenting, watch the video above.