Saturday, September 18, 2021

Nia Long Recalls Beating Jada for Role of Will Smith’s Girlfriend on ‘Fresh Prince’

*Nia Long stopped by PeopleTV’s Couch Surfing on Thursday to promote her latest film “The Banker,” and she also made time to dish about beating Jada for the role of Will Smith’s girlfriend on “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

“First they cast Jada to play his girlfriend,” Long said of the iconic sitcom, YAHOO reports. “They cast Jada and they were like, ‘Jada’s too short.’ I’m only about two inches taller than her, that does not make a difference.”

The actress went on to star as Will’s girlfriend/fiancé Lisa Wilkes in season 5 of comedy series. 

“The joke that I have with Jada is that I got the job but she got the husband,” said Long. “That’s like our running joke.”

Will and Jada first met in 1994 and married in 1997. They have two children together: son Jaden, 21, and daughter Willow, 19.

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Long is engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Ime Udoka, a former professional basketball player who now works as an assistant coach for the Philadelphia 76ers. The couple have been together since 2010 and share a son.

Meanwhile, Long jumped at the chance to star in the Apple TV+ film, “The Banker.”

Inspired by true events, the film centers on businessmen Bernard Garrett (Anthony Mackie) and Joe Morris (Samuel L, Jackson), who devise a risky plan to take on the racist establishment of the 1960s by helping Black Americans secure home loans.

“I was really excited because I hadn’t read a script in a long time that showed black people in finance,” Long told Newsweek Conversations.

“We need to teach our children and reeducate our children that, we’re here now. We have an opportunity to be whatever it is that we want,” she said about the film’s message. “What I love about the film is you can take your mother, your father, your brother, your husband and your children. I’m taking my 8-year-old to see it. Because there’s nothing in the film that’s inappropriate. It’s a real history lesson.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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