Bel-Air star Jimmy Akingbola was skeptical about Fresh Prince revival

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Jimmy Akingbola was sold on the new direction credit:Bang Showbiz
Jimmy Akingbola was sold on the new direction credit:Bang Showbiz

Jimmy Akingbola was skeptical about the 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' revival.

The 43-year-old actor - who plays butler Geoffrey in the new retelling of the hit 1990s sitcom - admitted he didn't want anyone to "touch it" before finding out it was being reimagined as a drama.

He told the Metro newspaper's Sixty Seconds column: "I'm a big fan of the original and until I found out this was a drama, I was like, 'Oh no, what are they doing? This is an iconic, culturally massive show that we all love! Don't touch it!'

"But when I saw that it was a drama, I was like, 'Hell yes! This is the only way you can do it.' "

'Bel-Air' is based on Morgan Cooper's short fan film of the same name, which caught the eye of Will Smith, who starred in the original series and called the fan before the video went viral.

Morgan serves as a producer on the show, but he was "a bit worried" he was going to be asked to remove his trailer.

Jimmy laughed: "Morgan did say he was a bit worried and they were ready to take it down but, no, it was to say it was fantastic.

"That show you Will's character, that he wanted to back a 27-year-old who had the audacity and talent to that and to nature him."

Meanwhile, the actor revealed he has taken some guidance from Morgan when it comes to his take on Geoffrey.

He explained: "Morgan Cooper said he wanted this Geoffrey to make him think of someone from a different part of the UK and he talked about him being from east London, and I said, 'Funny you should mention that, I'm born and bred in Plaistow!'

"I know Joseph Marcell [the original Geoffrey] and, if anything, he gets the biggest curtsy from me because he was a hero of mine growing up watching the original 'Fresh Prince.' "

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