“We had no idea that the show was going to be that iconic.”
In a recent interview with “Today,” Panamanian-Trinidadian, American actress Tatyana Ali reminisces on her role in the famous ’90s sitcom, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” In this comedy television series, Ali played the role of Ashley Banks, the youngest daughter of Phillip and Vivian Banks and cousin of Will Smith.
Ali recalls her experience working with Will Smith, who she describes as “incredibly funny and a great story teller and so charismatic.” Ali remembers the immense dedication Smith had to his role in the show as it was one of his first acting experiences. He had the entire script memorized, so sometimes Ali would catch him secretly mouthing hers and everyone else’s lines during their dialogue exchanges.
Ali had the opportunity of being on set with guest stars Oprah Winfrey, Zsa Zsa Gábor and Donald Trump. Zsa Zsa Gábor was Ali’s absolute favorite because she was so kind, honest and open. Gábor wasn’t ashamed to share all of her beauty and plastic surgery experiences, which is something Ali loved. As for Trump, the only thing Ali recalls is the strange appearance of his hair.
Ali admits that she never thought the show was going to become so iconic. Although acting is a job that takes a lot of time and continuous effort, Ali appreciates that she was allowed to be herself on the set of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” She was allowed to be a kid, which was important. She was only 11 years old at the time and grew up on the set with her school books on one side and her script on another. “It was magical,” Ali expresses.