Morgan Cooper is a great example of having a vision and executing it to completion. His viral trailer in 2019, reimagined the iconic, culture-defining ‘90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The new series features an ensemble cast that introduces Jabari Banks as Will and a creative team that includes Cooper, who serves as director, co-writer, and executive producer, and co-showrunners and executive producers T.J. Brady and Rasheed Newson.
Cooper’s focus on his craft was inspiring to witness him speak on as a filmmaker. When I sat down with Morgan in December 2021, he carried himself with such a calm aura despite the million directions I’m sure he was being pulled at the time.
Bel-Air will premiere on Peacock on Super Bowl Sunday, February 13, 2022.
Question: What gave you the original idea? What made you want to produce a dramatic version of Fresh Prince?
Morgan: Yeah. So I was in my hometown, Kansas City, and I was driving on the highway. And I always say when ideas hit me, when the vision hits me, all kind of comes at once. So the look and the visualization– I come from a camera. I was in the cinematographer for a few years. So I see how the faces look and how the colors look, and that meshes with like the words and the colors that I see. I kind of like, see it all color. So it all just kind of hit me at once, and it hasn’t really strayed away, you know what I mean? Honestly, even to this day, just like, it all hit me, and I’ve always just believed in manifesting. So I made a call to my producer and put up the money to make the short, and here we are.
Question: What was it like to initially meet Will Smith and find out that he was interested in actually producing? Executive producing
Morgan: Yeah, Will is great. It’s interesting Will actually– well Westbrook, his company reached out before it even went viral. So it was under 10,000 views when they reached out because it’s media team, they’ve always got their ears to everything happening on the Internet. And so they reached out very early. And a day after it was released, I was in Calabasas talking to him on FaceTime. He was in Miami doing Bad Boys, and he was like, “Yooo!” and I was like, “Yooo!” and he was like “So what you trying to do?” I’m like, “I’m trying to make it.” So I told him right there, I was like, I see it as like a 1 hour drama and flew down to Miami to talk about development. We shook hands and got into it.
Question: What kind of compromises did you have to make and how did you sort of, like, navigate having to stay true to your vision and then compromise for network, showrunners, et cetera?
Morgan: Yeah, I think the biggest thing is just you can’t be possessive in television, you know what I mean? It’s like you sell the show. It’s no longer yours, its ours, right? And so every day just… Once again just waking up in gratitude with the situation, and everybody’s got an opinion, that’s television, and it’s just the nature of it, but it’s exciting. There are a lot of different perspectives that go into this, and it’s not one person’s thing. And just taking one day at a time. I’m thankful to be working with very thoughtful artists who have a ton of experience and so every day is a great learning experience.
Question: Can you give a specific example of anything that you were sort of steadfast with when you created this versus it changed?
Morgan: Let’s circle back on because I want to be thoughtful with my answer but yeah, on a day to day basis always things that you want that you have to fight for because there’s a lot of different opinions. But that’s television. It’s just such a collaborative medium.
Question: I have a question. I kind of like it and hopefully spark but is there anything that you had original vision that has been able to carry through to the final product and you’re like, “Okay this is my vision on screen.” Was there any particular shot or anything like that that you’re like? Yes, that’s it.
Morgan: Yeah. You’ve all seen the pilot so once again kind of going back to just how my mind works as an artist, I see the images with the– it’s all like one thing, you know what I mean? So I think the pilot is definitely the best representative of my vision. Hopefully when people see that people who have been fans of my work, my work will really feel that texture. So Philly was something that I really wanted to make sure we represented really well, you know what I mean? I wanted to pay respect to that community…Bike Life Rex, young dude from Philly who had been following IG, and we went back and forth in the DM, so I wrote him into the script. He’s a young dude surfing on the bike from Philly. You know what I mean? So even if people don’t know the specific details, you can feel it. It just feels different. You know what I mean? So I was just trying to lead with what is real to me, like, what’s authentic. And so I think people should really feel that in the pilot.
Question: Well, what’s the ratio between risk and opportunity for bringing so many kind of unseasoned performers, people who may not be as well known?
Morgan: I prefer– honestly, I love working with non actors, especially when it’s, like very specific things. You know what I mean? It’s like that texture. You can’t teach that type of energy that Philly energy is so special. I have a ton of friends from Philly. You know what I mean? And it’s just such a specific type of energy. I’m from Kansas City, and it’s not the same as Philly, but just kind of like the type of energy is the same, and you can’t act that. You know what I mean? And so when casting was sitting in reads, it was like, that’s cool. So I was like, let’s see these guys, and you see their tapes. And it was just like, as clear as day.
Question: Was there any pushback on that?
Morgan: No, I’m really thankful for that. The studios were very supportive of those casting decisions, and I think everybody saw the benefits of it when they saw the pilot. Hopefully, when you guys saw the pilot, you guys felt a real energy. You know what I mean? Because it was.
Question: Kind of piggybacking off that question. What made you decide to seek out rising actors instead of taking out bigger names? Because you would think with this big property, this big Bel Air reboot, that you would seek out Michael B. Jordan or something, you know what I mean? Some bigger names. What made you guys decide to go with rising actors?
Morgan: Yeah. Something that we were always aligned on was just choosing the best actors who were right for these roles versus names. You know what I mean? It was important for us to this reimagine vision. Who are these reimagined versions of these characters? Like, who brought the spirit of what was aligned with the vision versus like, let’s just get a name just to get a name. You know what I mean? Because Anybody who’s a fan of the show, it’s like– they’re not showing up for a specific actor. They’re showing up for these characters that they know and love. Right. And so who embodies these reimagined characters in the most authentic way? And I’m blown away by the cast that we landed. I feel so fortunate to young Jabari. The world is going to know about Jabari for years and years to come. Coco, Olly, I feel like we struck gold with this cast and just the best people to work with, too. So collaborative and so for us that’s what we’re looking for is to really create a true family versus, like, let’s just kind of hodgepodge names to do it. And also, I think there’s an element if you have a name, it could maybe even be distracting. You know what I’m saying? It’s like if you bring in– I won’t name anybody specific, but you kind of see that actor versus seeing this reimagined character. You know what I mean? So that was important.
Question: Watching the pilot kind of put me in an ill position because my homeboy, Jerry was in the–
Morgan: I love Jerry.
Question: Yes. And it’s like, so when I saw the pilot, I was like, I’m sorry, dog. But Jabari. He’s the guy, you know what I’m saying? I mean, I didn’t talk to him yet about it, but it’s like I’m watching that y’all nailed that casting.You know what I’m saying?Like, Jabari just completely embodies that role.
Morgan: Yeah. He’s incredible, man. I remember we were in Philly scouting for the pilot, and he came down. He was in DC at the time, and he came down and he had a little mustache at the time. And we were in the middle of a Zoom and in the middle of it, it hit me. I’m like, ‘hey, bro, do you mind? This is weird. But you take five and just lose the mustache real quick. Just like, run in real quick and shave.’ And the second I saw him like him, he’s such a deep well, like what he can do his bag. He’s just so versatile as an actor and can do so many different things. He has natural charisma, natural comedic timing. His dramatic chops are exceptional, and he’d only done a short film, and now he’s number one on the call sheet. And since the first take, he rose to the occasion, and I knew we’re going to be just fine.
Question: Do you find yourself gravitating towards more, like, dramatic films or series? We were talking about it before throughout the interviews that people were a little concerned about trying to remake something or reimagine. Excuse me– something like Fresh Prince that is so classic and iconic. But when I saw the trailer, I was like, this is interesting. I can see where to go. Do you find yourself gravitating towards outside of film and TV?
Morgan: It’s interesting. I always feel like my voice as an artist. Directors. Like I said, I kind of view it as a singular thing. And so it’s like drama, but funny, too, you know what I mean? Because I think they go hand in hand, honestly. Like anything. I think that’s good. There’s always, like, any good drama has probably some good comedy or good comedic moments, you know what I mean? Even if it’s nuanced or subtle, you know what I mean? I think they kind of go hand in hand. It’s more of a drama. I consider our show more of a drama, but it’s got to be funny, you know what I mean? I think that’s because with humor comes vulnerability. You see what I’m saying? Which is a pathway to, like, dramatic moments, like meaningful dramatic moments is that pathway of levity. So they go hand in hand with me. So I definitely don’t say I lean one way or another. I just lean towards something that makes me feel something as an artist. I just chase a feeling, you know what I mean? And usually levity opens up my heart to get to that dramatic thing.
Question: You talk a lot about authenticity, and that’s been something that is a theme throughout all of the interviews that everybody is saying that same thing and also just being open and how they have a great relationship. What’s your rapport, with everyone that’s involved, not just the cast, but the crew, and then just bringing out that authenticity in each character.
Morgan: Love the crew. I feel like we’ve got the best crew in this town. They’re just so giving with their talent. They bring their A game every single day and honored to be working with such a hard working crew. Yeah, I love them. I was just over there just like, dapping everyone. I love them so much. And it’s become very tight knit. So I can’t say enough about the artists and technicians behind the camera on this project. I could go on for days and props from every part of that Department, you know what I mean? So I love our crew. I get emotional thinking about them because they’ve given so much to this.
Question: Yeah. So I think this between Bel-Air or even Zola this year, I think there’s, like, this trend of black creators kind of going outside of the Hollywood circle to get stories told which are just going viral. So I guess the question I’m trying to ask is how exactly do you see, I guess from now on, how do you see stories being told through social media?
Morgan: Good question. Yeah. I think things are just changing, you know what I mean? I know the old days are just like, there’s only one place to watch things that entertain you. That’s done. You know what I mean? It’s like we really can take matters in our own hands as artists and pave our own paths, because ultimately people want to watch what they want to watch. And if that idea comes from a studio, great. If it comes from a young dude in Kansas City, that’s going to happen to, you know what I mean? So it’s like, hopefully this could be something that paves the way for other brilliant, independent artists to shoot their shot and do their thing, you know what I mean? And create their own opportunity, because you can’t wait for permission. It’s never going to happen. We’ve got to be, like, the captain of our own destiny, so to speak, and be fearless in what we make. And I didn’t make that to– I just made it because I want to make it. At the time, I was shooting commercials for a living as a cinematographer. I was living my life doing my thing. I just wanted to express it. And I think people felt that, like, I wasn’t trying to chase clout or anything weird. I just wanted to make it because that’d be something I would watch. I want to make things I want to watch.
Question: When You talked about that moment where you talked with Will. When do you think it’s really going to hit? Like, oh, my gosh, this is it.
Morgan: Yeah. Honestly, I hope it can just inspire the next generation of storytellers to do their thing. And honestly, I just hope people can see my collaborators work, you know what I mean? I’m thankful to have this opportunity, but I just want the people around me to shine. That’s all I really care about at the end of the day.
Question: In modernizing this take on Fresh Prince, what does this 2021 iteration have to say that’s different from the Fresh Prince in the past?
Morgan: That’s a very good question. I’m just trying to, if I could say, holistically. Yeah, maybe we circle back to that one as well. That’s a great question. I want to give that a little thought.
Question: How about this, then? The soundtrack is amazing for the show. There’s a kid Cudi song in there that I haven’t heard in ages. I’m just like, yeah.
Morgan: They sleep on that one. I mean, incredible project. And everybody was like, is this a new Kid Cudi? So I’m like, ‘What?!’ Teleport to me is so good it so like romantic.
Question: So in line with that, the audience, we’re picking up these sounds and everything. Can you talk a little bit about the importance of a show having a musical identity or a footprint, in a sense, and how music kind of helps with the storytelling?
Morgan: Oh, man. Absolutely. Before we even casted, I made, like, a 50 song playlist for every single character because I feel like if you know what somebody listens to, you can get a very good feel for a tone of a character through music. And so my hope was just to create a visual landscape that lends itself through the emotional subtext through these scenes. For in Philly, one of those things that not only have a cultural impact, but from a character perspective, really touch you at a deep place in your heart when you see Will on screen, leaving Philly behind. Like, what is the soundtrack for that moment? You know what I mean? So I lean towards what matters within the culture because once again, it has to be authentic, it has to be real for it to be meaningful, you know what I mean? So that’s just leaning into I don’t know. I always say I just lean into things I care about, you know what I mean? Honestly. And through that, I think the decisions become very easy. It’s like a filter. It’s like, what am I trying to say? Oh, okay. If I know what I’m trying to say, it’s like down to my lenses, the camera, the edit, the edit style, the musical choice right there. It’s all through the filter of like, what do I want to say in this moment? What is the emotional subtext of this character’s experience in the scene? What are the character dynamics within the scene? Okay. And all the choices become really clear. That just comes with putting in the 10,000 hours.
Question: Kind of going off the playlist thing. Like, if you had, like, a personal playlist, were there specific songs that inspired you in creating the show?
Morgan: Yes. I mean, even kind of going back to Teleport to me Jamie, when I hear that song, I just think of coming of age love. It’s just kind of got that type of energy, and you go back to your first loves and all that type of stuff, you know what I mean? So it’s just like all these different sounds growing up in Kansas City and the things– freeway. There’s a freeway needle drop. I’ve never heard that on TV, but I grew up listening to that, and that matters to me. So it’s like if it matters to me at a visceral level, maybe it’ll matter to other people.
Question: I’m not sure who said this, but they described you as the heartbeat of this entire production. And I thought that was like very powerful and a testament. I mean, I’ve never met you before. It’s a testament to who you are. Describe obviously it’s your vision, but from your standpoint, just looking and seeing, these things come from pre production to now as you’re working towards how it feels to be like the central part, like you’re talking to a lot of different people. There’s a lot of moving parts. How are you balancing that? I’m sure this is like your laser focus on this, but how are you balancing everything?
Morgan: I got a great assistant who helps me keep my thoughts organized. It’s a lot, you know what I mean? It does take a certain amount of delegation and trust, you know what I mean? And also the ability to let certain things go because this isn’t a Bel Air film. It’s a television show with a lot of different opinions. We’ve got two showrunners who see the world in a specific way. We’ve got a whole writer’s room and that’s the magic of it. You know what I mean? I guess my mind of management is just really taking it one day at a time, one task at a time. The big homie Will always lay a brick, you know what I mean? So I always try to remember that in moments where I’m like, damn, there’s so many different things I want to isolate and make perfect, you know what I mean? Because I’m a perfectionist. That’s how I work. Just like lay these three bricks, you know what I mean? And then you look up in a week and all those things are in place. So taking one thing at a time, I’m at House of Intuition, getting candles and morning coffee a little like day to day tasks to keep the mind and spirit right. So not ignoring that too.
Question: How’s it feel being like such a young professional and being the boss of all of this stuff or having to call shots and make these big time decisions when there’s so much on the line?
Morgan: Yeah, man. I think for me just being incredibly present, you know what I mean? That’s why people ask me all the time, “How are you so calm with it all?” And I just say I just try to just stay focused on the art, you know what I mean? In the process, I’m still the same kid who had a little T2 out of my hand in the hood in Kansas City, 18. Same approach, just like focus on the frame, one thing at a time. I’d say it’s like staying laser focused on the things that matter. And I’m not on the Internet a lot. You know what I mean? I try to just stay in the real world as much as possible, and that’s helpful as well, because I think sometimes if you focus too much on what everybody is saying, you can kind of let that find its way into the art, you know what I mean? Versus, like, once, it just happened in the memories, like, what are the things that are very real and handmade to me and letting that lead and even going back to Jabari, I love this cast so much. Like all my little siblings, as far as, like a little brother to me, I stay laser focused on just checking in on them and making sure they’re right. It’s like a squad. It’s like, let’s focus on this right now and everything that comes after, that’s going to be what it is, but let’s stay focused on the art. Let’s stay focused at getting a little bit better, what we do every day.
Question: What age did your creative journey start for you?
Morgan: Yeah, when I was 18.
Question: When you’re 18, yeah. So if you took a look back, you’re able to sit down with your 18 year old self right now, everything that’s happened so far. What would you say?
Morgan: Yeah, man. Trust your gut, follow your heart, you can do anything. Manifestation is real. And, yeah, I look back on that time. I’ve been thinking a lot more about that lately. I just turned 30. And looking back when I was 18, and I didn’t go to College or anything like that. I didn’t do well in high school, and I was scared. You know what I mean? It was a very scary time. My dad moved to Florida, and it was a very real journey, to say the least. I bought a little canon T2I and decided to tell stories. I always say just want to tell the story of my cousin, and I’m still the same guy.
Question: Everyone that we spoke with has talked about this freedom that you’ve given them to improv and bring their real personalities to the character. Can you speak a little bit to that?
Morgan: Yeah, absolutely. I always say I never as a director, I try to be surgical in my direction and not over direct actors. It’s where they feel box, spin. It’s like. And I think that comes from my process really just chasing a feeling. And that’s what everything, whether it’s a shot or the shape of the light I want in a frame or an actor’s performance, it’s chasing that feeling. And for me, that makes the process much easier. And I’m glad I’ve discovered that process over the years, because when you chase, like a result, it’s kind of an ethereal thing, and you’re just trying to throw something fine to sticks, but it’s like, no. What do I want to say with this if you know that you can get to that result a lot of different ways and that gives the actor freedom to get to that place their own way. You see what I’m saying? So I make it a very collaborative process, and I’m so thankful working with a great cast who asks really smart questions, you know what I mean? And they want to be challenged. Like, actors love good direction, you know what I mean? I try to just come in and give them just what they need and leave room for them to bring their magic to the table, you know what I’m saying? It’s all in service of that feeling we want to create with this moment, with the scene, with the sequence. I always say it’s like moment creation is such an important attribute for an actor. You got a lot of great actors who are serviceable actors. Like, they can do the lines, whatever, but we’ve got moment creators. They create moments. I hope you all felt that in the pilot. There are just so many moments that they created and that’s between them and god, honestly. So for me, it’s just like, give them freedom to really express things, have authorship with these characters and create a true form of collaboration. I never want them to feel bogged down with direction. It’s like, no, here’s what we’re trying to say. Here’s what we start the plane emotionally in the scene, here’s where We land the plane and always just giving them stakes, reminders. We’ve got younger actors who haven’t done this before, so just being there to help empower them and help remind them the emotional cues within the sequences.
Question: I wanted to ask you what kind of went into the decision making process of illustrating those different terrains as far as the music perspective as well as was there any kind of thought into the eras? Obviously, I feel like, kind of like, at least in the first episode when I heard some of the Philly rappers were kind of like an older era, at least from the younger kind of artists that are portrayed.
Morgan: It’s becoming more and more rare to timeless music. We don’t have a lot of timeless hip hop anymore. You see what I’m saying? Everything is just so driven by, like, what’s the hot thing now on TikTok? And then you look up two weeks later and it’s kind of onto the next thing, and it just kind of gets lost in the sauce. It was hot two weeks ago, but come on, money trees is never going to be out of style. You see what I’m saying? What we do is never going to be out of style. Like, you throw that on any Stadium, it’s up anywhere, you know what I mean? So it’s like leaning into, like, what’s timeless and what’s new but still has a timeless element, a very hand made element in Philly. Sloan’s got a joint in there. You know what I mean? Young Sloan portrays Darnell. That was important to have that West Philly texture. Like we hear Freeway, what we do great. Like that was Philly, a timeless component. But what does West Philly sound like now where you have SIM Santana, who’s doing more drill? Like, you feel that East Coast drill presence in the Poppy store scene, you know what I mean?
Question: You were scared when you were younger, when you were 18. Can you share what was going on?
Morgan: Yeah. I mean, like being in the middle of it. You don’t see this type of stuff in the MidWest, you know what I mean? It’s like I don’t know anyone in the business at all. My dad sold ADT and my mom did deploy morale consulting, but I knew I wanted to say something. And so it’s definitely just kind of like a sink or swim situation. Like, you got to figure this out, you know what I mean? You can’t lean on anyone to make the dream come true. Like you’ve got to will it into existing, manifesting. Yeah. When you have a dream, a very big dream, and you really have no idea how to get there, you know what I’m saying? It’s scary, but I’ve always run towards fear, you know what I mean? It’s like for real. Even with this project, just keeping it tall. It’s like I didn’t know until Will tapped in. I wasn’t going to get sued. Johnny am I lying? Johnny produced a short for my hometown and we still talk about to this day. It’s like I didn’t know if Westbrook was reaching out to. Yeah, but it’s like I didn’t let that stop me. I ran towards it. So I think the fear can be helpful because if it’s scary, that could be a good thing, you know what I mean? Things that it’s the unknown. I think that’s what it is. It’s like the unknown what could happen if I tried this thing and I fail. That’s scary. And I’m not afraid to admit that, you know what I mean? But I’ve always ran towards that fear.
Question: Going back to the original short, I guess with your background, what inspired the actual visual looks of the short? And how does that kind of carry over to the actual series?
Morgan: Fine art, really. Like Kehinde and Amy Sheryl, what they were doing, the Obama portraits, it just came, you know what I mean? Just that I’ve never seen anything. None of us really have seen that before. Black people set against beautiful floral and not just like the paint, but the framing as well. Just like this beautiful Bolt. Just had never seen anything like that. Once again, growing up in the Midwest. You just don’t see that, you know what I mean? I saw that, I’m like it was just so striking to me. You see what I’m saying? And also how he painted light. Light is something that’s important me at a very spiritual level. I think it’s a very defining part of my work. If you see anything I’ve done, it’s like people talk about how late, you know what I mean? And so just seeing how he painted, that was a huge inspiration of the visual texture. Roy de Carava, Gordon Parks, Jacob Lawrence. Like, there’s a lot of silhouettes that you saw in the short film as well, like the Migration series. That’s all Migration series. So putting together a mood board with all the fine art influences that mean a lot to me. Gordon Parks, how he took, like, very simple moments at a time when it wasn’t trendy to capture black life, like he was doing that because he had to. Same thing with Roy. Roy Decarava, right? And so honoring them through intimacy and how we show black people on screen, you know what I mean? In a way that’s caring and tender.
Question: So with that, how do you take that short? And then how do you count with that Peacock budget? How do you enhance that?
Morgan: Yeah. I think for me, it’s just not forgetting those North Stars. Right. And I hope you guys felt like a level of intimacy and tenderness, you know what I mean? In these sequences of young black men in a locker room just expressing joy, for example, I want to see more of that on TV because it’s real and we don’t see those things enough. It’s not just like trapping and nonsense. It’s like there’s a lot of love. And so I think despite the budget and all the toys and stuff that you get with a big budget. Just like staying true to what do I want to say in the intimacy of these moments? I feel like that’s my superpower as an artist is like creating moments of intimacy on screen so not losing sight of that. It’s like all that Stuff’s cool. Don’t let it distract from what you want to say and the emotion that you want a viewer to feel.
Question: I wanted to talk about Carlton and the way that he kind of relates to blackness. Olly was saying that it’s kind of a everyday struggle to be like, “Well, I’m not black enough to black people, but I’m too black for white people.” What was it like kind of writing that character and placing him within that dynamic of really questioning his own identity as a black man?
Morgan: Yes, such a good question. I think for us just being very intentional with the choices we made and. Yeah. I think just intentionality. And Carlton didn’t choose the world he was born into. I think that’s very important to remember. I think sometimes we forget that as people, it’s like, you didn’t choose to be born in Lincoln. You were born in Lincoln. And that informs the people you’re around and the proximity to you that informs your experiences and your moral view. You know what I’m saying? I think that’s important to see on TV, to dimensionalize a character like that who can just be so viewed as like, 2D, like, you see what I’m saying? It’s like, no. Why does he think these things? He wasn’t born in this world will choose the same way? Will didn’t choose to be born in Philly. So, like, Carlton’s judgment, its like Will didn’t choose to be born in the situation. This is the thing that he was around. If that led to his situation and changing and shifting, that’s what I hope our show can do in a really unique way. To make that very clear, we don’t choose where we’re from. We’re not one thing. You know what I mean? And that’s okay. That’s beautiful. And it’s important to have those conversations and not be taboo. If Carlton talks a type of way, that’s okay. You know what I mean? It doesn’t make him less Black, its how he talks. He can’t change his skin color. You know what I mean?
Question: What does this version of the show have to say differently from what the past version is?
Morgan: Yeah, 30 years ago, just due to the times that we live in. And just like the format in which that show was a 30 minutes sitcom that’s based in comedy can only go so far with certain social themes. So I think for our show, it’s just to go deeper in every single way and really peel back the layers of these characters and create a three dimensional world to have these conversations in a way that’s authentic, you know what I mean? The reason I give pause is because we wouldn’t be here without that show right now, you know what I’m saying? So I don’t want no slight on that. You know what I mean? At that time. It’s still to this day, I revere that show, you know what I mean? But I guess, for example, when I did the short, I didn’t watch The Fresh Prince at all, like, at all. That entire process for a reason. You know what I mean? I didn’t want that to inform. It’s just like, what are my memories of these kids? Okay, cool. Now I want to reimagine them in a way that’s real and that’s modern. So it’s like it’s just like a different thing. Can I ask you a question?…Okay. When you watched it, I’m curious, from you guys perspective, what was the most surprising thing, knowing the sitcom, seeing the short, what were the most surprising things for you guys? I’m curious.
Interviewer: I think Will and Uncle Phil’s relationship to me was so different. And I felt like when I watched the first one, it was like, okay, Will went to Bel Air, but you really focused on this is why he’s going to Bel Air. This is not sweet. It’s not a vacation.
Interviewer: I think the showrunners kind of mentioned it, but the fact that you don’t have to know Fresh Prince originally to now watch it. Now a younger generation is tapping into, oh, yeah. I may have saw Fresh Prince at 03:00 in the morning on Nickelodeon, but now this is what I can see. And I can kind of relate a little bit more to this than I could have, watching it back in the 90s.
Morgan: I think those are all great thoughts. I agree with all those things and the particular last one. It’s like you don’t really have to know that show to hopefully enjoy this show because I view it as just a different thing, you know what I mean? While still trying to honor the spirit of that incredible, iconic show. So hopefully that helps. I’m sorry. Okay. All right.
…And I got to give a big shout to the studio and Peacock for being supportive. That because it wasn’t easy. We’re in the middle of a pandemic. That’s another thing, too, is like, we’re making the show. We’re still in the midst of this thing, and that’s hard. And we don’t have unlimited days to do this stuff. So for them to believe in the vision enough to put up the money for us to go to Philly and do it the right way, you know what I mean? I still remember that was the first day on 60th street on the bike, and Will walking up with his mom. That was the very first shoot of the very first day. And I just remember the whole community came out and they felt so much love. And I’m like, that’s why I do it. You know what I mean? For them to be seen because people should be seen and feel honored. You’re going to portray those things like, no, go there and shake hands with these people and look them in the eye. Thank you for having us. Right.