It’s officially the new year and fans of Bel-Air can hardly wait for the return of Season 2. The new series on Peacock reimagines the iconic 90’s sitcom, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, starring Will Smith, as he navigates the switch from his hometown neighborhood of Philadelphia to modern day Los Angeles.
The new season picks up where Season 1 left off, with Will (played by Jabari Banks) at a crossroads as someone new comes into his life and challenges everything he’s learned thus far in Bel-Air. Still, Will continues to try to navigate his place within the Banks family, as he surprisingly begins to build a brotherhood with Carlton (played by Olly Sholotan).
Sheen had the opportunity to speak with the cast of Bel-Air, during a roundtable inside of Langham Hotel in Pasadena, California. Read below as we first speak to Adrian Holmes, Cassandra Freeman, and Jimmy Akingbola, followed by Jabari Banks, Olly Sholotan, Coco Jones, and Akira Akbar.
What’s one thing about Season 2 that you’re most excited for viewers to watch?
Adrian Holmes: I’m excited for viewers to be introduced to the expanded world of Bel-Air. We’re really opening the gates and introducing a lot of new characters, and there’s a lot of nuggets. There’s a lot of cool, interesting pieces and characters we’re introducing this season.
Cassandra Freeman: You’ll see an expansion of the Banks family and to me, that is super exciting! You’ll see some amazing Easter eggs. You want to be there on the first episode, absolutely. Even when I watched it, I almost cried. I don’t even know why.
Adrian Holmes: Emotional too. Really emotional.
Cassandra Freeman: What is it about Bel-Air that’s nostalgic, but still feels like this forceful current at the same time?
Jimmy Akingbola: Groundbreaking, pushing boundaries.
Cassandra Freeman: Right, but nostalgic at the same time. How?!
Jimmy Akingbola: Yes, it’s a great cocktail.
Cassandra Freeman: Oh and the fashion! Oh my God! The fashion, listen.
Adrian Holmes: We got Queen Sylvia this season who’s doing our wardrobe, and the name could not be more fitting. Pun intended. [laughs]
Jimmy Akingbola: She’s raised the bar. Our outfits are elevated to another level.
Cassandra Freeman: From the jumpoff. As soon as she showed up, I said, “Can aunt Viv go toward her roots? Feel like Fela?” She said, “I got you.” So know you’ll feel some West African accents this season.
Jimmy Akingbola: You’ll see Jeffrey in some sharp, sharp, sharp, sharp suits. I’m excited also about getting into a bit of Jeffrey’s backstory this season. I’m really excited to share that with the audience for Season 2. I’m just excited for us to bring the second part to hopefully a 7-part series to the world. This show has so much potential. At the end of Season 2, it’s like we’ve almost barely scratched the surface. For me, that says longevity.
Adrian Holmes: There’s so many layers we can peel back.
Cassandra Freeman: I’m excited to see what the fans — I wish there was a poll to be like, “What do you hope to see this season?” And see how close we got to that.
Jimmy Akingbola: I’ve spoken to some fans, and they got some great storylines.
Coco Jones: I’m excited for everyone to see Hilary being in love. They were really rooting for Hilary and Jazz in their relationship, so they do form a bond. They’re booed up and of course, some things happen, but I’m excited for everyone to see that.
Olly Sholotan: I’m most excited for Will and Carlton’s relationship. Season 1, everyone’s like dang, these two really do not like each other. Will really did not like Carlton off the bat. Will saw Carlton as a threat, rightfully so because Carlton is so great. I’m excited in Season 2 for Will and Carlton to explore the new brotherhood that they found.
Jabari Banks: That was a joke by the way. I don’t know if you can write me in screeching in the background. I would say I’m excited for that too. I’m excited for Will and Carlton’s relationship and how that grows. Their brotherhood. ‘Cause that’s a kinship that we’d really love to see from the original, at least that I did personally. I’m also really excited for the basketball sequences. We get to see Will outside of Bel-Air Academy and different types of basketball. What does that look like? Different energies. I’m excited for that. How about you?
Akira Akba: I’m excited for people to see Ashley show more of her activism. She goes through a lot of challenges, especially at school. She gets to show her being an activist. Especially with Will and Carlton, they help her through fixing the issues, so I’m excited for people to see that.
Photo Credits: Peacock/Anna Cook