Karyn Parsons is totally different from her role as the materialistic and sometimes not-so-swift “Hilary Banks” character that she played on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She recently revealed that for a while after she was starring on the show, that she refused to quit the REAL-LIFE job that she had before landing the role.
The Job She REFUSED To Quit & How Her Co-Stars Clowned Her
Karyn Parsons was a restaurant hostess at the exact same time she was “Hilary Banks!” Could you imagine going to the restaurant where she was working at the height of her career, and having “Hilary” escort you to your table?!! Crazy right? She’s smart though, because here’s what she explained about why she did that:
Before she got her break on that hit ’90s sitcom, Parsons was living in Hollywood — working as a restaurant hostess, taking acting classes and going on lots of auditions. When she first got the audition for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, she wasn’t sold on the show’s concept. “I remember my first reactions being, ‘Oh, God, it’s a sitcom with a rapper? Like, what’s that?’ ” she recalls.
She says the Hilary character was originally written as a polished, cool model. “My first reaction to it was, ‘Oh, well, this is ridiculous, I’m not gonna get this, I’m not a model type. This is silly,’ ” Parsons says. Parsons says she decided to make the character her own. “I did what I could do, which was, I kind of turned in her into a little bit of a real brat,” she says. “It was fun to play that girl. It was fun to just be so self-absorbed that you just say ridiculous things.”
Parsons got the part, but she still went back to her hostessing job. “I didn’t know what was gonna happen with that show,” she says.
She remembers Will Smith and others from the show coming by the restaurant while she was working and teasing her outside the window. -via NPR
As you can see, Karyn Parsons is obviously way smarter than her character, “Hilary Banks.” She made sure not to throw all of her eggs in one basket. Some people just go all in and have no plan B, while others choose to play it safe. Karyn chose the latter.
Nowadays she spends time raising her kids with her husband, director Alexandre Rockwell, whom she married in 2003. Together they have a daughter, Lana (born March 2003), and a son, Nico (born May 2007).
Karyn is also focused on her great project called Sweet Blackberry, in which she’s producing a line of animated films about unsung black heroes. The first in the series is about Henry “Box” Brown, a slave who mailed himself to freedom.