Time Plus News

Breaking News, Latest News, World News, Headlines and Videos

Bel-Air's Jimmy Akingbola, Jordan L. Jones, & Simone Joy Jones On Geoffrey, Jazz, And Lisa – Exclusive Interview

Jimmy and Jordan, you’re both playing characters who were especially comedic in the sitcom, but they’re more grounded here in a lot of ways. How did you make the characters your own while nodding to the original version?

L. Jones: I love how you said that. Literally, “nodding” is the correct word because what we don’t want to do is do exactly what [the original] Geoffrey and Jazz did, and that also has a lot to do with the writing as well. Because it’s a drama, you don’t have to really … subconsciously, I know everything about Jazz and everything, but in this, he has more depth, so it’s hard for me to be like, “Okay, how would [the sitcom’s] Jazz do it in this situation?” I’ve never seen him be in this dramatic situation.

Joy Jones: That’s a great point.

L. Jones: This is a nod to [director, co-writer, and executive producer] Morgan [Cooper], and him making this a drama and him having bigger storylines for characters that you didn’t really know their background. [It’s] not that I don’t use [the original version of] Jazz, but I’m not on set before a scene thinking about how would Jazz do this. That’s a blessing. It takes off the pressure and allows me to just do what I do.

Akingbola: Yeah, and likewise to Jordan, Geoffrey was amazing in the original and his one-liners, but me and Morgan talked about, “What does that look like in 2022?” Let’s not have him be a butler. Let’s make him an equal. Let’s make [him and Uncle Phil] best friends. He’s his advisor, and there’s beautiful moments where they’re chilling, drinking together and sharing memories from back in the day in their 20s as well as talking about Will. They’re beautiful moments to have Black men, that camaraderie, that Black love, and sharing also that Black excellence. These two men are at the top of their game.

I also spoke to Morgan about the authenticity in terms of [how] Morgan wanted him to be from East London. I was like, “Oh, funny you should say that because I’m from East London. You know me?” I’ve used a lot of my experience of growing up in East [London] and knowing some people that have moved around but never forgotten who they are. As a Black Brit moving to L.A., me and Geoffrey understand Will’s journey. We get what it’s like, that he’s come from Philly and now he’s in this new atmosphere and this new environment. Because of this, Geoffrey’s definitely got experience of the street life, but he’s also lived a certain life where he’s been in the mansions and he’s been in the corporate world. When you put that into one person, he’s so multilayered, and there’s so many places he can go, and he’s a shape-shifter. We’re going to continue the mystery of Geoffrey because we’ve got two seasons, but there’s so much beautiful backstory that we’re going to get into and share with you all.

New episodes of Bel-Air are available on Thursdays on Peacock.

This interview was edited for clarity.

Source link