‘Bel-Air,’ the dramatized reimagination of the 1990s sitcom ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,’ revolves around Will (Jabari Banks), a gifted student-athlete. Although his mother, Viola “Vy” Smith, encourages him to expand his wings and see the world, Will is perfectly happy with his life in his neighborhood. But things change when Will gets arrested for drawing a gun on a drug dealer and gets threatened by the said drug dealer.
Despite Will’s protests, Vy sends her son to live with her affluent sister Viv and her family in Bel Air. Vy has raised chiefly her son by herself. Will’s father, Lou Smith, was initially involved, but that didn’t last long. In the season 1 finale, he makes his first appearance. Here is everything you need to know about him and the actor that Portrays him. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Who Is Lou Smith?
Although Lou didn’t appear until the very end of season 1, the ramifications of his actions are very much evident in the lives of his estranged wife and son. Vy is a remarkable mother. She has striven to do her best for her son and brought him up to be a well-adjusted, wonderful young man. But she wouldn’t have to face her economic struggles if Lou were involved. Moreover, Will has grown up missing a part of himself. As he admits in the season 1 finale, he has been miserable wondering what happened to his father.
In the original series, Lou deserted his family when Will was about five years old. He later claims that he did it because he was afraid of fatherhood. ‘Bel-Air’ goes about it differently. It is revealed that Lou was in prison for several years for robbing an elderly man who he claimed owed him money. Phil was his lawyer during the trial. Although Lou maintained that he was innocent, Phil never believed him. Lou also claims that Vy cut him off from her and Will’s lives after his incarceration. Phil points out that Lou could have reached out to his son in the three years he has been out of prison. But Lou says that he felt ashamed about his incarceration and didn’t want to face his son.
It was only when Geoffrey contacted him and told him that Will was interested to know about him that Lou decided to come. Lou says all the right things and seems to show genuine initiative about meeting his son, but Phil and Viv don’t trust him. Lou’s volatility comes out when Vy is mentioned during his conversation with his son. Will understandably defends his mother as Lou declares that Vy is the reason for all the misery in his life. Lou attacks his son and tries to choke him until Phil and Viv intervene and force him to leave.
Who Plays Lou Smith?
Comedian and actor Marlon Wayans essays the role of Lou Smith in ‘Bel-Air.’ A member of the Wayans clan, Marlon has been a prominent actor on both small and big screens for over three decades. He made his debut in the 1988 action-comedy film ‘I’m Gonna Git You Sucka.’ Since then, he has appeared in films such as several entries in the ‘Scary Movie’ franchise and ‘Sextuplets’ and TV shows like ‘The Wayans Bros.’ and ‘Marlon.’ ‘Bel-Air’ marks his rare outing in a dramatic fare. He previously appeared in Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Requiem for a Dream.’
Read More: Is Bel-Air Based on a True Story?