FRESH Prince Of Bel-Air star Alfonso Ribeiro says his life really did get flipped, turned upside-down by the show.
The American told us how his acting career ground to a halt because he couldn’t escape the shadow of playing Carlton Banks, Will Smith’s scene-stealing cousin in the ’90s sitcom.
‘It stopped me from being able to be an actor,’ said Alfonso, 45, in an exclusive chat with Guilty Pleasures On TV.
‘It has forced me to be Alfonso Ribeiro and not character A, B, C, D… it has forced ME to be my character, hosting game shows and America’s Funniest Videos. It’s changed the narrative for me. So [the role] was rewarding in many ways, and also least rewarding in many ways.’
Not that Alfonso has given up hope of unleashing his inner thespian again — in fact, he is keen to delve into his dark side and portray a psychopath.
The father-of-three continued: ‘I would like to try some stuff that is different from how the world sees me, just sink my teeth into… shoot, I could be a deranged killer!
‘But I doubt someone would automatically think of me when they go, “We need to cast a killer, let’s get the dude who played Carlton”.’
First airing in 1990, The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air ended in 1996 but remains a staple in sitting-rooms across the country with Comedy Central airing repeats on weekdays from 3pm.
And Alfonso has put his finger on why the series is so enduring.
‘We were universally funny, whether you were young, you were old, you were white, you were black… you could be from anywhere in the world.
‘I also feel that we were the last true American family show. You could sit down with grandma and watch it and laugh at different things.’
He said the US sitcom Modern Family ‘happens to use the word “family” but it’s not a family show’, adding: ‘Would you let your kids watch it? Probably not.’
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