Will Smith and the cast ofThe fresh Prince that Bel-Aircame with each other for a 75-minute reunion special on HBO Max, which droppeda job earlyWednesday, and also they take it a moment to remember the so late James Avery, who played the lovely Bankspatriarch, Uncle Phil, for 6 seasons.

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Avery, whodied in 2013 at age 68 following complications from open heart surgery, was credited by theFresh Princecast together being "the heart of the show."

"He was my teacher. I learned what it way to it is in anartist indigenous him," Tatyana Ali, that played Ashley, stated in the special, while Daphne Maxwell Reid, who illustrated Aunt Viv, added: "We knew that he knew the answer or might guide folks come the answers." Others favor Alfonso Ribeiro, ideal known together Carlton, and also Ross Bagley, aka Nicky,rememberedAvery because that his fondness that jazz music and the arts.

But it to be Smith"s have fun of just how much the an affect Avery, who played Will"s surrogate dad on the series,had on him that hit the deepest.

"He propelled me for this reason hard. His point was that i am in such a unique position and also that responsibility, you need to elevate your craft. You have to represent and you are paving a way, and he just wouldn"t provide me one inch," smith shared.

Smith recalled filming the iconic and most emotional illustration ofFresh Prince,season 4"s "Papa"s obtained a Brand new Excuse," where Will"s biological father re-emerges after ~ 14 years the end of his life.

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"I remember in one of my favorite and also most famous scenes indigenous Fresh Prince -- thefather illustration -- James Avery was this 6"4", 300-pound stage-trained shak spa beast and I"m the tiny rapper from philadelph under him and I want him to think ns was good. I want him to be proud the me, therefore the illustration comes and also we involved that scene and I was like... I want to supply this scene so bad," he recalled that Will and also Uncle Phil"s tearful heart-to-heart. "If you remember, in former of the audience, i flubbed my line on the take and also I messed it up in prior of the audience and my psychic snapped and I"m like, "Ahhhh!"James says, "Hey! appropriate here!"And ns was like...<straightens up>. He was like, "Use me!"And he says, "Get you yourself together,"and I get it together and he says, "Action.""

"With the step that we do, it"s the scene the ends gift in the episode. And I loss into his arms at the finish of scene, he"s holding me and also he"s holding me. He whispered into my ear, "Now that"s acting,"" a tearfulSmith added, acquisition Kleenex the end of his bag to wipe his eyes. "Every single time..." he paused as his voice began to crack together the emotions the the weight of the scene and how much Avery supposed to him began to take it over. "And it"s like world don"t also know once they"re shaping you and forming you and also crafting you. That knew."

"There are some human being that tree seeds. That"s what they do. And they carry out it to anyone castle come across," Ali agreed.

"He was proud of that he was. He to be proud that his race. He was proud of the history of his race," Joseph Marcell, who played Geoffrey, reminisced together Smith, Ali and the cast let the tears flow. "And he could see it and also it dropped upon you to grab the reins."


The cast then watched a sweet, moving video tribute to Avery and also Uncle Phil, featuringlighthearted scenes and some the the character"s many memorable native of wisdom, including a heat he says in one episode, "Death is a natural part of life," that hit in different way as castle watched.

After the video clip faded come black, Smith and also his co-stars were consumed v bittersweet emotion together they satellite in silence together they wiped away tears. "James, I miss out on you," among them is heard remarking.

"I think what wake up on family members shows prefer this, it"s among those points you cannot buy or fake chemistry. It"s just the way that we all came together was very special," blacksmith said.

The fresh Prince the Bel-Air first debuted in1990 and ran for six seasons, prior to airing its collection finale in might 1996. A drama reboot, titled Bel-Air, is in the works through a two-season order in ~ Peacock.

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The fresh Prince of Bel-Airreunion special, which also saw Smith and also "the original Aunt Viv" Janet hobtration reconcilingafter 27 years, is streaming now on HBO Max, and also the initial series.For more on the groundbreaking sitcom, clock ET"s video below.

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