Nostalgia Alert! Revisit Will Smith's First E! Interview for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

To celebrate E!'s 30th anniversary, we're looking back at big moments in pop culture, including the 1990 premiere of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

By Chris Harnick Jun 29, 2020 10:00 PMTags
Watch: "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" Turns 30: E! News Rewind

This June, E! turns 30! To celebrate we're looking back at the most monumental moments in pop culture.

In September of 1990, the world learned all about how Will Smith's life got flipped, turned upside down and how he became the prince of a town called Bel-Air when The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air premiered. And E! was there.

To celebrate E!'s 30th anniversary, we've gone to the vaults and are sharing some of the first interviews we did for with then-up-and-coming stars.

In the video above, Smith is in full promo mode and hyping The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. "You can't find nothing else that will make you feel the way this show makes you feel. I mean, you're sitting down to watch it, you're hype, it makes you laugh sometimes, it'll make you cry. You just got to peep it because it's all that," he says.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Cast, Then and Now

Fresh Prince ran for six seasons and also starred James Avery, Janet Hubert-Whitten, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Alfonso Ribeiro, Karyn Parsons, Tatyana M. Ali and Joseph Marcell. The series followed Smith, playing a version of himself, as a teenager who is sent from Philadelphia to the wealthy neighborhood of Bel-Air in Los Angeles when his mom worries for his safety following a confrontation with gang members.

"It's very easy to play myself," Smith, who was an already established musician when the show began, told us. "It's a lot easier than the music, so it feels like a rest for me now."


Smith cited the stability of having a place to be and set hours as a plus. "With the music, you never know where you might be and you're waiting for whether or not your record hits. It's like with this, if the show hits or doesn't hit, I'm still in the same place…it's just a lot more stable," he told us.

"The music started as a hobby, so I wasn't trying to have it lead me anywhere," Smith said. "I guess God had different plans for me."

Smith admitted he always had the urge to be on stage and to perform and the studio audience of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air satisfied that desire. "I'm totally satisfied here," he said.

Click play on the video above to hear what Smith's next goal was back in 1990.

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