Adrian Holmes talks playing the new Uncle Phil on ‘Bel-Air’

Click to play video: '‘Bel-Air’ actor Adrian Holmes on playing Uncle Phil, getting Will Smith ‘stamp of approval’'
‘Bel-Air’ actor Adrian Holmes on playing Uncle Phil, getting Will Smith ‘stamp of approval’
Canadian actor Adrian Holmes talks to Global News about playing Philip (Uncle Phil) Banks on ‘Bel-Air’ – a reboot of the ‘90s classic ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ – and how he has received Will Smith’s “stamp of approval.” – Mar 16, 2022
Adrian Holmes as Phillip Banks in ‘Bel-Air.’. Tyler Golden/Peacock

Welsh-Canadian actor Adrian Holmes couldn’t be more thrilled or honoured to be taking on iconic TV character Uncle Phil, previously played by the late James Avery.

Uncle Phil is the beloved patriarch of the Banks family, the central focus of ’90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, remodelled and reimagined as new series Bel-Air.

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Adrian Holmes as Phillip Banks on ‘Bel-Air.’. Evans Vestal Ward/Peacock

The 2022 version of the show may share the same basic premise as the original show, but it varies in every single other way — it’s incredibly dramatic with a dark edge, and as we follow young Will Smith (Jabari Banks) as he moves from Philadelphia to live with his wealthy relatives in Bel-Air, Calif., it’s immediately clear that this is no sitcom.

Holmes fits into the role of Uncle Phil so seamlessly, with his manicured beard, fierce glare and powerful energy, that it’s no wonder series co-executive producer and original star Will Smith gave him his seal of approval after his audition.

Global News’ Chris Jancelewicz sat down with Holmes on a quick Zoom call to see how he came to the role and how he’s feeling now that Bel-Air is out there.

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You can catch ‘Bel-Air’ on Showcase at 9 p.m. ET on Mondays, or stream the latest episodes at

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