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Jordan L. Jones Reveals The Differences Between Bel-Air's Jazz And The OG '90s Version - Exclusive

In the original '90s sitcom, "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," the character of Jazz — played by lead actor Will Smith's real-life music partner DJ Jazzy Jeff – was Will's best friend. However he mostly became known for swooning over Hilary (Karyn Parsons) and getting thrown out of the Banks' house by Uncle Phil (James Avery). In Peacock's dramatic reboot, "Bel-Air," Jazz has been reimagined as a very different person. Introduced as a ride-share driver for Will (Jabari Banks) in the show's first episode, he quickly grows tight with the Philly transplant.

But, this Jazz, played with swagger and smarts by Jordan L. Jones, is there for Will in ways he never was on the sitcom, showing up to dispense advice and offer support to the new arrival in town. Plus, this time, he owns a record store, making him a hard worker who might just have a shot with Hilary (Coco Jones).

In an exclusive interview with Looper, Jones discussed his longstanding love for "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" while also explaining why he never felt constrained by the sitcom in bringing his version of Jazz to life in "Bel-Air."  

This Jazz has 'more depth'

Actor Jordan L. Jones confessed that he was "overly familiar" with the characters from "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," admitting that he still watches the show "every day." Yet, while he said, "I know everything about Jazz," Jones also noted that it was easy to make the character we meet in "Bel-Air" his own because "he has more depth" than the version in the sitcom. As a result, Jones explained, "it's hard for me to be like, 'Okay, how would [the sitcom's] Jazz do it in this situation?' I've never seen him be in this dramatic situation."

Making Jazz a more complex character in "Bel-Air" ensured Jones was able to forge new ground as the character. "This is a nod to [director, co-writer, and executive producer] Morgan [Cooper], and him making this a drama and him having bigger storylines for characters that you didn't really know their background," Jones observed. "[It's] not that I don't use [the original version of] Jazz, but I'm not on set before a scene thinking about how would Jazz do this. That's a blessing. It takes off the pressure and allows me to just do what I do."

New episodes of "Bel-Air" are available on Thursdays on Peacock.