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Jabari Banks On The Pressures Of Filling Big Shoes In His First-Ever Role On 'Bel-Air'
Jabari Banks is living every fresh young actor’s dream.
Hot on the heels of attending acting school in Philadelphia, a few auditions in and he’s already the lead star of the hotly anticipated reboot of possibly the most beloved 90’s sitcom in existence.
Banks, a Philly native and complete newcomer to Hollywood, landed the highly-coveted role as the new Will on Peacock’s dramatic reimagining of the story of The Fresh Prince, simply titled Bel-Air. Premiering on Super Bowl Sunday, the streaming darling has already garnered millions of viewers and become a hot topic on social media. As the show’s star, Banks has hit many a radar with his earnest, emotional turn as the talented-yet-tortured Philadelphia teen searching to prove himself within his beloved 14 square miles.
“God, The Universe. That’s how it came to be,” Banks said of his unlikely entry into professional acting. “But my dad sent me this article and said “hey, they’re auditioning for Bel-Air, you should audition.”
Not thinking much of it, the fledgling young actor gave the audition his best and hoped for the best. Naturally, he was elated when he received the call from his manager that his audition had actually gotten him noticed.
“I knew I was right for the role, but I had to get it right. I’m adamant about [the concept that] if you ask for something your time is going to come. It just depends who you are when it comes; if you’re ready,” he added. “I really felt that I had to surrender to this whole process. I left it to God, I left it to the Universe, and it worked out in my favor.”
That favor found Banks taking acting notes from Academy Award-nominated actor and original Fresh Prince himself, Will Smith.