With Bel-Air halfway through its hotly-anticipated second season and already confirmed for a third at Peacock, fans are eagerly tuning in week-to-week to watch the sage of Will and the Banks family unfold on their screens.
But before the hype reached such a fever pitch, many fans were skeptical about the promise of a dark, dramatic reimagining of the beloved 90’s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which remains a classic in our culture thirty years after its premiere.
But for actors Olly Sholotan (Carlton Banks), Adrian Holmes (Phillip Banks), and Jimmy Akingbola (Geoffrey), there was never much nervousness or trepidation among the cast despite the negative chatter.
“I don’t know if it’s just gross overconfidence, but I don’t think we ever experienced any uncertainty,” Sholotan said of the anticipation and buzz building around the show’s first season. “Even when season one was coming out and some people were like ‘what is the point of this?’ I think there was something about the work we were doing over the months preceding it that we were like ‘nah, it is so special and we can’t wait to share that with you.'”
“For season 2, it’s just excitement,” Akingbola added. “The show’s bigger, better, it’s expensive, it’s spicy and we’re just going to go deeper into every character.”
“Imagine if you picked up the diaries of your favorite characters from Bel-Air. We’re probably just getting to a quarter of the diary. We’re about the nuance, about the layers, and there’s going to be some beautiful easter eggs. For me, as Geoffrey, we’re just barely touching the surface.”
“[I’m excited] for everyone just to see the direction of [Uncle Phil’s] career and what he decides he’s going to focus on moving forward. Also, his relationship with Viv and how they navigate the chaos in the household,” Holmes said.
Bel-Air streams Thursdays on Peacock.