The true story behind one of the saddest scenes in ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ History has finally been revealed.
In the episode “Papa’s Got a Brand New Excuse”, Will Smith demonstrated his true acting abilities and showed the world when he is given the right role, he can do an amazing job.
To refresh your memory, the episode centers on Will’s deadbeat father Lou, who returns after missing 14 years of Smith’s life to spend time with his son. Uncle Phil, can see through Will Smith’s father’s lies, but Will can’t. He is so happy to be with his dad that he drops his traditional style and acts like a little kid all over again. Then this happens…
Here’s the story behind the amazing scene.
A rumour circulated around the Internet that Will Smith actually had a bad upbringing and his father was never actually around.
That awful moment when you learn that this wasn’t scripted. That Will Smith’s character was actually supposed to brush off the whole thing, but Will’s father actually had left him when he was younger and he just fell apart on the set and the hug at the end was from one actor to another, not one character to another. [tumblr]
But in actuality his father had a major influence in his life. According to an Essence interview, Will Smith explained what his father was like. “Dad was tough but not tyrannical,” Smith told Essence. “He kept me in line. He’d get this look that said, ‘One more step, Will, and it’ll get ugly.’ He was an independent businessman-he set up refrigeration in supermarkets-and he always provided for us. He’s a steady and positive figure in my life.” (Source)
But, Will Smith’s acting was so genuine and realistic he only did one take and the entire audience started crying.
I was actually at the taping. The entire show was quiet, even during the funny parts, and I could not figure out why.
Before this scene, Will Smith disappeared.
He showed up, did this scene in one take, then disappeared again. You might notice his hat coming off. Usually, the director would retake the scene, but really, nothing could replace this moment.
People were crying for a long time when it was over, doing their best not to make noise before the director said “cut.”
I was ten years old. Will never, ever, forget. (Source)
Will Smith is currently working on a major feature film centering around NFL players suffering from mental illness following their career in the NFL. If you are interested in working with Will Smith, casting directors are holding an open casting call.[h/t: Uproxx]