As the one-year anniversary of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion” approaches, actress Janet Hubert, aka Original Aunt Viv, is giving her fans an update about her current relationship with co-star Will Smith.
After a 27-year feud, Smith invited Hubert on the special to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ’90s sitcom and to hash out their differences. The heartfelt conversation resulted in the two embracing each other and reconciling. Today that reconciliation has helped them both heal, and now Hubert says they have a much better relationship.
She told People, “We text each other back and forth all the time. As a matter of fact, we have a very good relationship. I meant it with all my heart when I hugged him, because I saw that little boy, that little 21-year-old boy. Had we had an opportunity to talk back then, I think this would have never happened.”
Hubert left the sitcom in 1993, and during that time there were rumors about her being difficult to work with, rumors with which Smith agreed. Despite her denying the hearsay, Hubert says Smith’s comments caused her to get blackballed from the industry, and Hubert was rarely seen on television or a film again.
This put a major restraint on Smith and Hubert’s relationship to the point that the two bad-mouthed each other in the media. All of that was put behind them during the reunion.
“He was in a place, and I was in a place, we were both in a bad place. When you’re both in a bad place, and there’s no communication, you have to talk. So it’s been wonderful, it’s been lovely to have him back in my sphere.”
When Hubert did not return for the fourth season, she was replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid. In a recent interview with Atlanta Black Star, Reid opened up about coming on in the middle of a show’s run and playing a character that already had a previous actress.
Reid said, “I did not feel anything about ‘replacing‘ the original Aunt Viv. All actors are ‘replaceable’ according to the choices of the creators and producers of the project. I was delighted to have a job on such a wonderful show. I had to earn my spot, and was thrilled when it came to be. When we all reunited last fall, I was grateful to finally meet Janet. She belonged in our reunion as much as I did, and I was happy that whatever transpired before I was hired, of which I had no knowledge, had been dealt with, and life moved on.”