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Tatyana Ali On Her ‘Second Generation Wayans’ Character: ‘She’ll Cut You’

Tue, January 29, 2013 1:23pm EDT by Andy Swift Add first Comment
Tatyana Ali Second Generation Wayans
Courtesy of BET

Plus, what would it take for Tatyana to reunite with her ‘Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air’ family?

As the only leading lady on BET’s new hit comedy Second Generation WayansTatyana Ali has to stand her ground against the boys — not that she, or her character Maya, have any problem doing that. “She totally holds her own with these guys, and she runs things,” Tatyana tells of her latest on-screen persona. “I like how quick-witted and sharp-tongued she is. She’ll cut you with a smile if you get in her way.”

In fact, the strength of her character was one of the reasons Tatyana knew she wanted to be a part of the show.

“Sometimes you read parts and you don’t connect to them, and then sometimes you connect right away,” Tatyana explains. “I felt like I knew her, and I knew what I could do with her that nobody else could. I felt that instantly.”

And the fans are clearly feeling that too, as the Jan. 15 series premiere earned 4.7 million total viewers throughout the night — a number Tatyana says she could never have expected.

“People have been genuinely interested and excited about it, as well as  The Real House Husbands Of Hollywood,” she says. “But no, that number is amazing.”

Meet Tatyana’s Character, Maya

If you haven’t gotten a chance to watch Second Generation Wayans, Tatyana plays Maya, the sassy assistant of Damien Dante Wayans. Though responding to his every beck and call isn’t her full-time job — she actually works at her uncle’s law firm — she constantly finds herself cleaning up his messes. In the pilot, for example, she’s forced to pull a few strings to get her “boss” bailed out of jail.

So what other kinds of shenanigans can we expect from Damien and Maya in the future?

“Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll,” Tatyana says. “And I honestly mean that. All of those things happen this season, in one form or another.”

Will A ‘Fresh Prince’ Reunion Ever Happen?

’90s TV reunions may be all the rage right now — here’s lookin’ at you, Boy Meets World — but Tatyana says it might be a little tricky reuniting her TV family from The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air.

“Getting the Banks together is something we all talk about, how much fun it would be,” she admits. “When we are all together, like if it’s for somebody’s wedding, that chemistry and magic happens all over again. But I don’t know where Will [Smith] would find the time to do it.”

Still, Tatyana says if the right script were to emerge, it would be hard to say no.

“Where’s Hillary?” she wonders. “What’s she doing now? And what about Ashley? Didn’t she go off to a performing arts school? If someone could figure all that out, I think we’d all be down to do it. But that’s the hard part.”

As for which Aunt Viv would return for the reunion — Janet Hubert-Whitten was replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid in season four after much off-camera drama — Tatyana laughs and says, “I think we all know the answer to that question.”

In lieu of a reunion, you can get your Tatyana fix with all-new episodes of Second Generation Wayans, airing Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m. on BET. Watch a behind-the-scenes look at the hit new show below:

— Andy Swift