‘Bel-Air’: Jabari Banks And Olly Sholotan On The Will-Carlton Relationship And Where They’re Headed
Photo Credit: Adam Rose/Peacock
Interviews , Television

‘Bel-Air’: Jabari Banks And Olly Sholotan On The Will-Carlton Relationship And Where They’re Headed

Of the first three episodes of Bel-Air, one major conflict is the culture-clash rivalry between cousins Will (Jabari Banks) and Carlton (Olly Sholotan) as they both settle into their new situations.

Almost each of the episodes ends in a new Will/Carlton battle or result of their push-and-pull. After their blow-up at the end of the pilot when Carlton pushes Will into a polo, Carlton deals with the aftermath of his cousin encroaching upon his kingdom at the end of the third episode. While Will and Carlton had this dynamic in the iconic sitcom, the dramatic retelling takes this contention between the two much deeper.

Both Banks and Sholotan teased how the relationship between the two will continue to develop as the season goes forward and will be on an upward trajectory.

“Will is a fish out of water when he gets to Bel Air and Carlton is a king of his circle,” Banks told Shadow and Act in a recent interview. “And Will is so unapologetically himself. So it’s inevitable that they clash, just given their perspective and their different upbringings. They have different ideas about the world, and so Will and Carlton’s dynamic, when they first get there, is electric, man. And it’s something that is definitely going to take some getting used to for the two characters. And it’s going to be interesting to see how their relationship evolves and how they learn how to coexist in the same world, right?

Banks also teased how the relationship will evolve. “It’s a matter of perspective, and I think it’s going to be exciting to see two different perspectives, and to not say, ‘Hey, this one is better than the other.’ You know what I mean? And to open that conversation up. So as their relationship progresses throughout the series, it’ll be super exciting to see them come together as one.”

Sholotan even alluded to hijinks that the two will get into similar to their counterparts in the original series.

“I think the thing that’s so beautiful about Carlton and Will’s relationship is that they end up finding strengths in each other’s differences,” he explained to us. “And as the season goes on, they find ways to work together and solve problems, and only using things that each other know. Carlton comes to lean on Will a lot in the way he deals with his anxiety and the way he deals with his substance abuse. But also, I think the story of Carlton is that of so many kids in America today, and not just Black kids, but just so many kids that of dealing with anxiety and still trying to push through and you be your own person in this world. Will really allows Carlton to lean on him in a lot of those moments. I also think it speaks a lot to masculine relationships and how young men, specifically young Black men, relate to each other and emotionally lean on each other and I think it’s beautiful.”

New episodes of Bel-Air drop on Peacock each Thursday.

Watch the interview below:


Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

© 2023 Shadow & Act. All rights reserved.