Whoa! Daphne Maxwell Reid recently revealed that she was offered the role of Aunt Viv in the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air before Janet Hubert.
As we all know, Reid had replaced Hubert in the third season of the hit show and played the role until the show ended in 1996. This wasn’t the first time that Reid was offered the role to play everyone’s favorite Aunt.
“I remember back in 1989 when we first decided to leave California, I was asked to audition for a little television sitcom with a rapper. And I said, ‘I’m really not interested in doing a sitcom with a rapper who’s not an actor.’ And it turned out to be “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and when I saw it on the air that fall, I said, ‘Oh, this is a cute show. I guess I missed that opportunity,’” Reid said.
She continued, “Three years later, they called and said, ‘We are casting the Aunt Vivian part for ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,’ and I got there as fast as I could. I had to audition against 200, 300 other women that they found all over the country. And had the blessed, blessedness to meet James Avery and strike a chemical cord with him. I just adore that man and I guess our chemistry worked because I got the job.”
Reid recently joined the cast of the show for their reunion on HBOMax and she spoke on the fact that it felt like she was working with family on the show.
“We just had such a wonderful, warm relationship with everybody on that show that they really are family to us now. And since we lost James, it was a blow to all of us,” she said.
Reid added, “But he and his wife and my husband and I used to travel together. We would have a hoot. You only have a few of those relationships in show business because it’s difficult to connect with people when they move on. But when you move on with them and when you really secure a friendship while you’re working, then they’re very valuable friendships.”