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    ‘He whispered to me… now THAT’s acting’: Will Smith gets emotional as he pays tribute to late co-star James Avery during poignant The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion

    Will Smith became emotional as he paid tribute to his late co-star James Avery during The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion.

    The Oscar-nominated actor, 52, who played tearaway Philly teen Will alongside James’ strict but loving Uncle Phil, recounted fond memories of James, who died in 2013, as he reunited with his former castmates for one-off  HBO Max Special.

    The Seven Pounds actor became visibly tearful as he recalled James’ tutelage during the iconic 90s show scene, which saw Will break down in tears and exclaim ‘why doesn’t he want me?’ after his father walked out on him again – with Phil hugging him.

    Miss you forever: Will Smith became emotional as he paid tribute to his late co-star James Avery during The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion

    He said: ‘I remember in one of my favourite and most famous scenes from– the father episode – James Avery was this six-foot-four, 300-pound stage-trained Shakespearean beast and I’m the little rapper from Philly under him and I wanted him to think I was good.

    ‘I wanted him to be proud of me… we come to that scene and I was like, “I want to deliver this scene so bad”… I flubbed my line on the take and I messed it up in front of the audience and my mind snapped and I’m like, ‘Ahhhh. Ahhh!’

    Will revealed James had instantly taken charge of the situation, pointing to his eyes and saying : ‘Hey, right here… use me. Get yourself together’ before adding ‘Action!’

    The Independence Day star said: ‘With the scene that we do, it’s the scene that ends being in the episode. 

    Iconic: The Oscar-nominated actor, 52, who played tearaway Philly teen Will alongside James' strict but loving Uncle Phil, recounted fond memories of James, who died in 2013, as he reunited with his former castmates for one-off HBO Max Special

    Iconic: The Oscar-nominated actor, 52, who played tearaway Philly teen Will alongside James’ strict but loving Uncle Phil, recounted fond memories of James, who died in 2013, as he reunited with his former castmates for one-off HBO Max Special

    Heartbreaking: The Seven Pounds actor became visibly tearful as he recalled James' tutelage during the iconic 90s show scene, which saw Will break down in tears and exclaim 'why doesn't he want me?' after his father walked out on him again

    Heartbreaking: The Seven Pounds actor became visibly tearful as he recalled James’ tutelage during the iconic 90s show scene, which saw Will break down in tears and exclaim ‘why doesn’t he want me?’ after his father walked out on him again

    He said: 'I wanted him to be proud of me… we come to that scene and I was like, "I want to deliver this scene so bad"… I flubbed my line on the take and I messed it up in front of the audience and my mind snapped and I'm like, 'Ahhhh. Ahhh!'

    He said: ‘I wanted him to be proud of me… we come to that scene and I was like, “I want to deliver this scene so bad”… I flubbed my line on the take and I messed it up in front of the audience and my mind snapped and I’m like, ‘Ahhhh. Ahhh!’

    ‘And I fall into his arms at the end of the scene, he’s holding me and he’s holding me. And the shot pans off. 

    ‘And he whispered into my ear, “Now that’s acting”  with Will adding he broke into tears as the scene ended. 

    ‘It’s like people don’t even know when they’re shaping you and forming you and crafting you. He knew.’

    There for him: Will revealed James had instantly taken charge of the situation, pointing to his eyes and saying : 'Hey, right here… use me. Get yourself together' before adding 'Action!'

    There for him: Will revealed James had instantly taken charge of the situation, pointing to his eyes and saying : ‘Hey, right here… use me. Get yourself together’ before adding ‘Action!’

    Emotional: The Independence Day star said: 'With the scene that we do, it's the scene that ends being in the episode'

    Emotional: The Independence Day star said: ‘With the scene that we do, it’s the scene that ends being in the episode’

    Made it: 'I fall into his arms at the end of the scene, and he's holding me, and the shot pans off, and he whispered, "Now that's acting"'

    Made it: ‘I fall into his arms at the end of the scene, and he’s holding me, and the shot pans off, and he whispered, “Now that’s acting”‘

    The star was joined by Alfonso Ribiero (Carlton Banks), Tatyana Ali (Ashley Banks), Karyn Parsons (Hilary Banks), Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey Butler), Daphne Maxwell Reid (Vivian Banks) and DJ Jazzy Jeff.     

    Avery died in 2013 aged 68 of complications following open-heart surgery.  

    Prior to starring on The Fresh Prince -which ran from 1990-1996, Will and Jeff were best known for their single Parents Just Don’t Understand, which they followed with the 1991 Top-10 hit Summertime.  

    Moved: Tatyana Ali looked moved as she sat next to DJ Jazzy Jeff during the reunion

    Moved: Tatyana Ali looked moved as she sat next to DJ Jazzy Jeff during the reunion

    Back together: The cast looked in good spirits as they reminisced on their beloved James

    Back together: The cast looked in good spirits as they reminisced on their beloved James 

    Humble beginning: The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air aired on NBC from 1990–1996 and helped Will transition from a hit-making rapper to a blockbuster actor

    Humble beginning: The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air aired on NBC from 1990–1996 and helped Will transition from a hit-making rapper to a blockbuster actor

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