Will Smith Reveals What Uncle Phil Whispered In His Ear During Emotional Fresh Prince Scene

by : Emily Brown on : 14 Nov 2020 14:54
Will Smith Reveals What Uncle Phil Whispered In His Ear During Emotional Fresh Prince SceneHBO Max/NBC Productions

Will Smith has revealed what his Fresh Prince of Bel Air co-star James Avery whispered in his ear during the iconic emotional hugging scene. 

Fans will remember the heart-wrenching moment from the season four episode Papa’s Got a Brand New Excuse, which originally aired in 1994.


In the episode, Will delivers an emotional monologue to his Uncle Phil, played by Avery, about his absent father.

You can watch Smith reflecting on the scene below:


Smith’s character asks, ‘How come he don’t want me, man?’, and Uncle Phil responds by pulling him in to a caring embrace.


Smith, who is now 52 years old, reflected on filming the scene in a trailer for the upcoming Fresh Prince of Bel Air reunion, which will see the original cast come back together to reflect on filming the beloved show and to discuss the cultural impact it has had since its debut.

The trailer shows the former co-stars reminiscing about working with Avery, who died in December 2013 following complications from open heart surgery. He is described as ‘the heart of the show’ and a ‘Shakespearean beast’, and Smith admits that he wanted the older actor to ‘think [he] was good’.

Fresh Prince hugNBC Productions

Smith reveals that he and Avery had a personal moment outside of their acting during the emotional monologue scene, explaining that Avery paid him a compliment as the shot came to an end.


The actor recalled:

I fall into his arms at the end of the scene, and he’s holding me and the shot pans off, and he whispers in my ear: ‘Now that’s acting.’

Smith is joined in the reunion by Tatyana Ali (Ashley), Karyn Parsons (Hilary), Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey), Daphne Maxwell Reid (Vivian), Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton), and DJ Jazzy Jeff (Jazz) as they all gather in the old Banks family home set.

Fresh Prince reunionHBO Max

The cast reflect on how they each got involved in the show, with Smith recalling that ‘no one ever asked [him] if [he] could act’, and others admitting they were reluctant to agree to the show in the first place.

After kicking off in 1990, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air ran for six seasons before finally concluding in 1996. The highly anticipated reunion, which has been ’30 years in the making’, was announced in August and is set to air on HBO Max on November 19.

Will SmithPA Images

HBO Max described the reunion as an ‘unscripted special looking back at the series’.


Before sharing the advert for the show, Smith raised expectations as he told viewers ‘you couldn’t be ready for this trailer’. Hopefully the reunion will be everything fans are hoping for.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Film and TV, Will Smith


Will Smith/YouTube
  1. Will Smith/YouTube

    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion - Official Trailer