Don’t call him Carlton! Alfonso Ribeiro, who portrayed Carlton Banks on the hit ‘90s show the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has no plans to revive his character and show off his signature dance moves. The actor sat down with Us Weekly to talk about why a reunion won’t happen and how his famous character stopped him from acting. Watch the video above!
Since hanging up Carlton’s signature sweaters in 1996 after six seasons, Ribeiro has acted in smaller parts. While the former Dancing With the Stars champ, 46, said that “acting was my love,” he had a hard time landing roles since he spent “so many years trying to convince people that I was not Carlton Banks.”
“You get a role that you get to fully dive into and make it yours, and create dances, and create ideas, and work with the writers, and directors and producers in molding this character. Having people feel like, ‘Oh, my God you were so good, I think that’s you.’ Which I always say, ‘Well isn’t that what acting is?’” Ribeiro told Us. “I did something so well that you’re punishing me for doing it. They won’t let you do anything else because you’re supposed to be that person.”
While Ribeiro does “appreciate” what Carlton Banks means to other people, and did bring back his moves on DWTS in 2014, he has come to look at role as Will Smith’s conservative cousin as a blessing — and a curse.
“I call it the greatest thing that ever happened to me, and the bane of my existence all in one,” Ribeiro told Us. “I certainly appreciate all that I have received, and the life that I have been given from that role, but I also recognize that it also stopped me from being able to continue to do what I love to do also, which was acting.”
And that’s just one of the reasons why a Fresh Prince reunion is not going to happen.
“I definitely feel like the idea of going and doing that role again would be basically rehashing old wounds,” the TV host explained to Us. “Like, why would I ever go back to doing something that, yes, brought me a ton of greatness in my life, but has also brought me a lot of pain? So why would I want to go back to that to do it again, so that I cement the idea in people’s minds that I can’t do anything other than that? I want to continue to look forward.”
Ribeiro, who has partnered with Straight Talk Wireless to share tips on how to hack the holiday season, has now found love in something other than acting: hosting America’s Funniest Home Videos. He told Us, “I do feel like on a scale of 1 to 10, I think I rate higher as a host than I do as an actor.”
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