Will Smith tells all in his brand new memoir titled “Will,” in which he opens up about his decision to cancel The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air icon Will Smith is holding absolutely nothing back when it comes to opening up about his life experiences (both on and off-screen) in his brand new memoir titled Will. The four-time Grammy award-winning and two-time Oscar-nominated Smith has many stories still left to tell about his journey towards success, written with integrity and vulnerability at the forefront.
Honesty and being an open book to fans and the public is something that the Smith family is infamously known for. However, this memoir and the craft of writing, in general, seems like the perfect outlet for him to personally get a few things off his chest, including the fate of NBC’s Fresh Prince.
Smith starts early on in his narrative, painting the picture of his early rap career in the ’90s. He even reveals the traumatic childhood he experienced and the relationship that he had with his abusive father. Smith started off the book with the statement, “My father gave me my name, He gave me his name, and he gave me my greatest advantage in life: my ability to weather adversity. He gave me my will.” As Smith continues to share the experiences that made him the man he is today, he would be foolish to not mention the infamous sitcom that changed everything for him, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Although The Fresh Prince seemed to be an overnight success, Smith at this point in his career was getting many opportunities in Hollywood to transition to the movie star he is today. He recounts in his memoir that he made the ultimate, tough decision to cancel the show after season 6 due to outdated and overplayed storylines – the novelty of the show was starting to wear off. Smith wrote, “Anyone who has ever been on a sitcom can tell you the episode in which their show jumped the shark. Ours was season 5, episode 15, ‘Bullets Over Bel-Air’, the one in which I got shot and Carlton started carrying a gun. I had successfully fulfilled a promise to myself that I would never get caught in a cycle of deterioration without having the next thing on tap. The show could easily sustain another season; this was my family; I loved them. But a movie career was now a viable option; I was at a crossroads.”
The iconic, automatic hit sitcom ran for six long seasons, which gave the cast all the time in the world to bond. Smith reveals his admiration and close connection with Fresh Prince co-star Alfonso Ribeiro. He credits Ribeiro with gifting him so much guidance and wisdom. Smith dishes that it was Ribeiro who told him, “Hey, man, I hear the producers discussing names for your character. Take it from me: Give your character your name, Will Smith. Because people are going to call you that for the rest of your life.”
While The Fresh Prince sitcom has come long since come to an end, the story will continue in a new format. Peacock has ordered two seasons of a dramatic reimagining of The Fresh Prince.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is now available to stream on HBO Max.
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Source: Entertainment Weekly
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Will Smith Reveals When Fresh Prince ‘Jumped The Shark’ In New Memoir