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Auditioning For Bel-Air Over Zoom Was A Blessing For Jabari Banks

"The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" is known the world over for a handful of major reasons. The generally light and breezy tone, as well as a few standout stories, have made it such an iconic program. Not to mention, it launched Will Smith into acting superstardom, turning him from a relative unknown in the entertainment world to a big and small screen legend. He brought a fun, energetic, and somewhat irresponsible air to the "Fresh Prince" version of himself — a portrayal that made the creation of "Bel-Air" seem misguided.

Debuting in 2022, "Bel-Air" takes the characters and world of "Fresh Prince" in a brand new direction. With longer episode lengths, drastically altered character dynamics, and a more serious, mature tone, it's quite a departure from the show that inspired it. If you haven't watched Season 1 yet, you're likely wondering how they handle the Will Smith character. Well, actor Jabari Banks takes on the role, and throughout the first batch of episodes, he's proven more than capable of reinventing it for a new setting and a new generation of TV viewers.

Jabari Banks has turned out to be a great fit for the "Bel-Air" interpretation of Will Smith, and in his mind, having his audition held over a Zoom video call contributed greatly to him landing the part. Here's why.

Zoom allowed Banks to focus on himself instead of others

Speaking with Awards Radar, Jabari Banks discussed how he ultimately landed the role of Will Smith on "Bel-Air," touching on the audition process. As he recalls, his took place over a Zoom video call, which turned out to be way more of a positive for him than a negative. "It was interesting for this process because it was over Zoom. And so it was me versus me, and that was a blessing," he said, mentioning how Zoom eliminated the stress and second-guessing that comes with regular auditions, where it's easy to compare yourself to the other actors in the room and therefore hurt your chances at making a good first impression.

Banks stuck the landing at his unorthodox audition and became the face of "Bel-Air" shortly thereafter. Unsurprisingly, with him taking on the part of Will Smith, it didn't take long for the comparisons between himself and the real Will Smith to start rolling in. He wasn't caught off-guard by the comparisons by any means, especially since he has taken it upon himself to follow a similar path to success to the one that Smith took decades ago. Of the coincidence, he told Variety, "It's cosmic. I don't know how to explain it," adding, "I aspire to be like artists who build worlds."

The sky is indeed the limit for Jabari Banks, and his work as Will Smith on "Bel-Air" is just a taste of what he has to offer. Surely he'll continue to thrive in entertainment for decades to come, especially if he ends up with more Zoom auditions.