Thursday, June 18, 2009

Aunt Viv Blasts Fresh Prince

Janet Hubert writes: "Will Smith had people around him who made sure no one outshone him. I was happy to see Don Cheadle become the quality actor that he is, and often wondered how he made it past one episode, as Hilary's boyfriend, being such a fierce actor. No one could be on 'The Tonight Show,' that first season, except Will. And I mean no one."
In an effort to drive the point home, Hubert also recalled an incident where another actor was cut from a guest spot on the show after being too impressive at an early rehearsal for that episode.

"I recall the lovely and incredibly talented Countess Vaughn coming to guest star. Oh my God! The day of table read, she was pee-in-your-pants funny. The writers were howling, we were howling, so I knew she was history – banished into the cornfield. Many years later, after she had her own show, I had to tell her when she asked me why. 'Miss Janet why did I get cut from the episode,' she asked? Simply, my darling, you were too good," she recollected.

Hubert also vividly details her termination from 'Fresh Prince of Bel Air,' something she claims to have never anticipated.

She writes: "My agent called; it was time. He had a very funny sound to his voice, not the usual wonderfully funny Michael that I knew. 'Jaaaannnet,' he said, 'I got the offer and you're not gonna like it. They offered you 10 episodes.' Now, to the layperson who doesn't know what this means, each show is an episode, and the usual amount is 22, with perhaps two extra. But the show was a hit so they would order 26, with each show taking a week to shoot. I remember swallowing very, very hard. [My son] Eli was only three and half months old. That meant a cut in salary of more than $100,000."
"We had a new house, a new baby, I had just opened a new exercise studio, signed a 3-year lease, and my ex wasn't working at the time. And they knew this," the excerpt continued. "'That's not all,' Michael said. 'They don't want you to work on any other shows. You can only do two guest starring roles.' What? Who? I stammered. I couldn't breathe. What do we do, Michael? What do we do? 'We pass,' Michael said. 'This is a dirty deal, and they know it.' OK, I trust you, I said. Michael had been my agent for more than 20 years. 'OK sweetie, I will call you back,' he said."

In the last of the passage, Hubert describes just how the news that she was being replaced was delivered, an ordeal she likens to a murder.

"My mind was going in a million places. OK, I thought, they will come back; this is how they do it. They always come back. I started into the kitchen where Rayna – my friend, housekeeper and nanny was. She was doing dishes as baby E was enjoying a swing. I knelt down, kissed his head, and waited for the next round of negotiations. They never came. The next time Michael called he said, 'They are going to recast your role.' There was a beautiful stained glass window that I designed in the bedroom, and the windows were open, so my neighbors probably heard me scream. And that beautiful window probably has many cracks in it. Time of Death: approximately 3 pm. The real Vivian Banks was murdered," the excerpt closed.

Jacked from BV Buzz

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I believe her. 100%

Anonymous said...

I believe her as well.

Don't worry Janet, people like, Will/Jada Smith, Beyonce and others who do ill will to
people end up paying in the end, maybe not them personally but someone close.

Good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

That's messed up about Aunt Viv!

I like Janet's in that character wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy better than Tim Reid's old lady.

Nothing personal Daphne...

Anonymous said...

I read somewhere that she was a bitch to work with and thats really why she got kicked off the show. Besides the show is over now so who is really going to care. This is not going to stop Will from making movies and she can always go back to doing kool-aid commercials lmao.

Wild Safari said...

She should have spoken up back then. Why do people wait decades to come out with this stuff?
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Anonymous said...

She was too dark-skinned, that's why she was replaced!

thehoustongirl said...

they probably would've sued her back then when the show was popular :/

Anonymous said...

I believe her and I wish her the best. When this was going all kinds of rumors were flying such as she wanted her baby to work on the show and that she was horrible to work with. The show was always about Will Smith. No one on that show has had the success as he did. HMMMMMMMMMMMMMM kinda reminds me of a destiny child incident.

Anonymous said...

if i recall correctly, at the time she was let go she was demanding a million per episode and comparing herself to ted danson and cheers. it took ted 10 years to earn that money and she was no ted

Anonymous said...

Everyone knew & understood their roles on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"...just like the Lakers...it's obviously well known that KOBE is the star & everyone else is the supporting cast. Will Smith was the star of that show & now he is making millions as the star in his own movie so they just need to deal with the fact that a STAR is a STAR...move on!!!

Anonymous said...

I believe her as well!!
She was too dark-skinned, that's why she was replaced!
but now it's time to move on now that you where able to get the truth out!! the passed is the passed that's why it's called the past so now look forward to the future!!

Anonymous said...

Too dark-skinned for who???? This is so ridiculous. Keep it real, the lady could act her butt off and definitely played the role waaaaaaaaaaaay better than her replacement.
As a matter of fact once she was replaced the ratings went down and the show was off of the air.
Yeah will went on to make millions/ movies and thats great but I don't care if he makes a billion dollars per movie NO ONE can excaped reaping what they sowed. As for her maybe she just wanted to have her say. So what!

Anonymous said...

Well, I loved the 1st Aunt Viv, & was disappointed when she was replaced. The 2nd Aunt Viv sucked, and wasn't even funny!
Don't worry Aunt Viv-Janet, you will get what you deserve, I know that you are blessed!

Anonymous said...

You see we harangue the stars and they are going through it more than we know. Its a real cut throat kind of world we are in. RIP to MJ, my dog for life.

Anonymous said...

Seriously? "That meant a cut in salary of more than $100,000." "We had a new house, a new baby, I had just opened a new exercise studio, signed a 3-year lease, and my ex wasn't working at the time."

Hey, bitch, how 'bout you don't spend beyond your means, then? You're in a business that is dependent upon the whims of the audience, the star, the producer, the sponsors--you never knew from one week to the next if you were going to have a job the following season, so why would you overextend yourself to that degree? How 'bout your baby-daddy gets a job and starts contributing to the household?

Will Smith may or may not have had something to do with your having trouble getting hired after you left his show, but the fact is that you were offered a job with a reduction in pay, and you chose not to take it. Maybe you needed a better agent at the time.

Anonymous said...

man shut yo dumb ass the fuck up

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