If you’re anything like us you’ve been enjoying watching Season 2 of Bel-Air and as we prepare for episode 3 to drop tomorrow we thought we’d share our interview with Tatyana Ali about her role on the show.
Of course the biggest question at hand is how the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star felt joining the cast of the update.
“When I agreed to do it when I got the offer I was like, ‘Oh yeah I love this character.’ I treated it very much like an acting job,” Ali told BOSSIP. “I love what it’s about. I love the show, the writing is amazing. In my mind I’ve always seen it as its own show, but then I got on the Bel-Air Academy set and I saw all these children in their uniforms and it was like that movie where it’s like…” [Tatyana makes a gesture as if the camera is zooming in for a closeup]. “That’s how it felt. I’ve overtime meta in real-time, so much, one scene in particular with Akira when we were done I asked the director, ‘Are we done with the setups? We’re good?’ Then I just went off and I just cried off all my makeup. It was just overwhelming. You don’t get many chances in life like that.”
Tatyana Ali plays the role of Mrs. Hughes, a mentor and teacher for Ashley Banks (Akira Akbar) so we were curious how the two Bel-Air Ashley Bankses have been able to bond.
“During the first season, one of the directors in the first season Matthew Cherry put me in touch with Akira over Facetime and we talked a little bit for the first time,” Ali recalled. ” hen when we were shooting for this season all our offtime we just kind of sat and talked. Also with her mom who is an amazing woman, we just talked about all kinds of things. She’s a remarkable young lady, very talented, very genuine and I’m excited to see everything that she’ll do.”
Banks still recalls her excitement before the Peacock series dropped and describes her feelings being part of it as a mixture of weirdness and excitement.
“I remember seeing the trailer when it first went out on social media years ago and I think I tweeted it out as well, retweeted it,” Ali recalled. “I was like this is incredible because clearly they understood what the original show was about. And the drama. I thought it was really cool. Then it’s like okay, it is an interesting experience to see something you worked on, these same exact characters, relationships that were written, but some that weren’t, that we massaged, make their way to this new project. It’s surreal. I don’t know how to liken it to anything else. But they’re all so talented. I love what they did with the first season. I wasn’t invited to be part of the first season. I was invited to be part of this season for Mrs. Hughes. I treated it like an acting job. She was so well written and on a great show, why wouldn’t I want to be able to play? And then the added benefit which I didn’t even anticipate, just all of the emotional connection to even those scene with Akira. Most of those scenes I’m like ‘this is just so weird.'”
“It was meaningful that Mrs. Hughes, this character that I’m playing — Tatyana Ali — was teacher or mentor to Ashley Banks played by Akira Akbar. That is meta and cool and weird and dope in a feeling way that I don’t really have the words to describe. I felt it when I was in the scenes with her. I knew what was happening but it’s hard to describe.”
Get a sneak peek at the upcoming episode of Bel-Air HERE
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