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Aunt Viv says she expects “many surprises”



Daphne Maxwell Reed is back in her old TV house.

Reed, who played Aunt Vivian in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” is part of the special 30th anniversary of the sitcom, which premieres Thursday on HBO Max.

“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion Special”, organized by the star of the series Will Smith, includes an hour of unrecorded memories of Smith, Reed, Tatiana Ali (Ashley), Karin Parsons (Hillary), Joseph Marcel (Jeffrey), Alfonso Ribeiro ( Carlton) and DJ Jazzy Jeff (Jazz).

In the specialty, they come together in a set identical to the setting of “Fresh Prince” – which takes place for 148 episodes on NBC from 1

990 to 1996 and revolves around a smart street teenager (Smith), who moves from West Philadelphia to Los Angelis to live with his wealthy relatives on their Bel Air estate.

James Avery, who played family patriarch Philip “Uncle Phil” Banks, died in 2013. (He remembers with touching reverence.) Janet Hubert, who plays Aunt Vivian – but leaves after three seasons after facing Smith – surprising appearance.

The collective composition of
The cast of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air includes (left) Will Smith, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Karin Parsons, Alfonso Ribeiro, Joseph Marcel, Tatiana Ali and DJ Jazzy Jeff.Courtesy of HBO Max

Reed, 72, who has been married to actor Tim Reed since 1982, answered several questions about the Fresh Prince collection, her many non-acting endeavors – including photography (five books) and a clothing line (Daphne Style) – and her upcoming film “Christmas Business” (December 1 on BET +).

How did it feel to see everyone again?

My favorite moment was to see the whole cast in one place at once. The set was familiar and it was great to see the family. That was really the moment. They all kept us apart and told us that there would be many surprises – and there were!

Do you have a favorite episode of the original series?

This is my first episode! It was a classy transition to the introduction of a new body inhabiting Aunt Viv. I am always grateful for the opportunity to be part of such an iconic show. This kept me on public radar in a wonderful way. All the actors are really part of my family, as am I.

Why do you think the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” continues to resonate for almost 25 years since its finale?

The concept of “fish without water” is eternal, and the topics we dealt with are also eternal and universal.

Casting “The Fresh Prince of Bell Air” was (left) Karin Parsons, James Avery, Will Smith, Alfonso Ribeiro, Tatiana Ali and Daphne Maxwell Reed.NBC Studios / Everett Collection

Success as a photographer, fashion designer and author (including a cookbook). Has your plan always been outside of acting?

I wish I could say there is a plan! They gave me artistic gifts at birth and all my life I tried to honor them by manifesting and sharing them purposefully.

Tell me about The Christmas Business.

This is the sweet story of a family that owns a toy store and is facing mortgage problems near the holidays. They are empty nests that would like their grown children to return home for the holidays. The children have a very busy life, but the “drama” brings them home to help the family with its difficult situation.

Would you consider doing another series, given your outdoor activities?

I would like another series. I did all these other things at the same time as I acted. I love the work!


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