Alfonso Ribeiro is crushing it as the host of America’s Funniest Home Videos, and even as a guest judge on Dancing With The Stars. However, no one can forget when we were first introduced to the actor in the role of Carlton Banks on The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air. The 47-year-old actor remains close with his cast, which was of course lead by Will Smith, and in an EXCLUSIVE podcast interview with HollywoodLife, he revealed one of his most challenging times while on the beloved show. “Interestingly, the biggest challenge wasn’t me. The biggest challenge was Will,” Alfonso admitted to HL. “Will had gotten married — I introduced him to his wife, his ex-wife now — and then he got a divorce and it literally broke him.”
Alfonso continued, “When you’re acting, you are literally looking into the soul of another actor. When you’re in those scenes, you look into a person, you don’t just look at a person. For the time before, he was Will, he was present, and then all of a sudden, he was gone.” The DWTS champ said that Will “was vacant in his shell” following his split from Sheree Zampino in 1995, and his pain effected the whole cast. “When that’s a really good friend, someone you care about, it breaks your heart to see them completely disappear from being the guy with the most spirit, to someone who had almost none,” Alfonso explained.
While that was one of the most challenging moments on-set of The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air‘s 6-year run, Alfonso said the “greatest moment” was the day Will emerged from his funk. “It’s a moment that we all remembered on the show, as a cast, and we went, ‘You’re back,'” he recalled. “He had gotten past the hurt. He had gotten past the pain of it, and became present again. It was a wonderful moment for all of us.”
Alfonso spoke to HollywoodLife.com on our weekly podcast (every Monday!) in partnership with Hampton. The actor helped launch the Hilton brand’s first ever Hampton Real Travel Road Trip Hotline, just in time for your summer road trips! “So, Hampton by Hilton decided to put together an information hotline where people can call in, and if they have questions about a road trip, or need advice, they can call into the hotline and get that information!” Alfonso explained. On the June 21st launch of the hotline, Alfonso actually answered some of the calls himself, and offered advice to travelers and fans. “To me, taking a road trip is a great part of my life, and my family’s life. We do road trips all the time. We’ve done it in RV’s, we do it in the car — we just go. We pack everybody together!” he admitted. That sounds like a lot, with his four kids! You can call the hotline yourself at 1-866-7-HAMPTON.
Be sure to listen to our full podcast interview with Alfonso, which includes his thoughts on a Fresh Prince reboot, DWTS stories and more!