'Bel-Air''s​ Jazlyn Martin Says This Is What She’d Ask Tyra Banks About Her Character ‘Jackie’
Culture & Entertainment

'Bel-Air''s​ Jazlyn Martin Says This Is What She’d Ask Tyra Banks About Her Character ‘Jackie’

One of the most-watched television shows in Black family homes in the 90s was NBC’s Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The series was on-air for six seasons, ultimately concluding in 1996. It reached over 20 million households and became one of the top-rated primetime television series of its time. The popularity of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air slingshotted then-newcomer, Will Smith into a multi-decade career of acting, producing, and music-making.

Fast-forward to today, one of Peacock's most-streamed original series to date is Bel-Air. The series has been streaming for two seasons and just renewed for a third. The popularity of Bel-Air slingshotted now-newcomers such as Coco Jones, Jabari Banks, Simone Joy Jones, Olly Sholotan, and new-to-the-series regular, Jazlyn Martin into the spotlight.

And none of them are slowing down.

What I enjoy most about the Peacock’s reboot, is that they don’t try to overly mimic the original show or rely solely on nostalgia, as a means for a reboot. Instead, the series acts as a modern revamp of the classic, making its characters more relevant to Gen Z, and introducing R&B singer Coco Jones, who plays the hella bourgeois Hilary Banks, and Will, who is played brilliantly by Jabari.

Jazlyn Martin, a rising Afro-Latina actress (This Is Us, The High Note) plays a new interpretation of one of Will’s childhood friends and love interests, Jackie Ames, the role previously held down by supermodel tycoon, Tyra Banks. Additionally, instead of portraying one of Will's childhood friends from Philly as her older counterpart once did, Martin's version of Jackie acts as Will's new love interest. She's also the niece of his new basketball coach, Doc (Brooklyn McLinn).

Martin recently sat down with POPSUGARto chat about the highly-revered series. Here are the highlights:

On being the new girl for Season 2:

"At first it was a little intimidating because they're so close and I'm the new girl on the block, so I'm like, all right, I feel like I have to prove myself to be here a little bit. But they were super welcoming. They were super warm. They're so funny. Being on set, it doesn't feel like we're at work. It just feels like we're on a playground and we're just goofing off. The entire cast is hilarious. Cassie [Cassandra Freeman], she's a comedian."

On bringing her own take of 'Jackie' to the role:

"I was just really determined to bring authenticity. I knew it was going to be a different take from Tyra's and I think I lived in that, that it would be different. Bringing an Afro-Latina girl from South Central and not dumbing that down or giving what people think they want to see. I just wanted to be truthful to Jackie's perspective and her life and really showcase and represent that."

On what she would ask Tyra Banks:

"I would ask her what her perspective of Jackie was. What she sat in as Jackie's truth and how did Jackie grow up on her side."

On the best love advice she's ever received

"How you love is just as important as who you love."


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Featured image by Jazlyn Martin/Getty Images

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