Alfonso Ribeiro Reflects on How 'Fresh Prince' Stalled His Acting Ambitions

Alfonso Ribeiro opens up about career highs and lows.

by Nouman Rasool
Alfonso Ribeiro Reflects on How 'Fresh Prince' Stalled His Acting Ambitions
© Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

In a frank chat with Closer Weekly, Alfonso Ribeiro reveals how his role as Carlton Banks in the iconic sitcom, "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air," pushed him into stardom and yet closed the curtains on some acting opportunities.

"Playing Carlton on 'Fresh Prince' was both a blessing and a curse. It was absolutely one of the best, greatest roles that I've ever had the privilege to play, but at the same time, it really pigeonholed me in a way that there would never be another acting career," Ribeiro said.

He had, he thought, sacrificed so much because this overbearing connection with the character made casting directors and audiences alike unable to see anything else in him. "The sacrifice was not having an acting career anymore," he lamented, even though the role was professionally fulfilling in every other sense.

Cherished Cast Memories

But memories of his time on the show are not all colored with regret. In fact, Ribeiro's retelling was shot through with midnightsunlight, for the bonhomie and pre-show rites that really bound the cast – momens shared most especially in Will Smith's dressing room.

"Before every single performance, we would meet in Will's dressing room, play music, dance, just build a great energy before going out to do the show. Those are cherished moments of being actually being together." he relays.

Today, at 52, Ribeiro has successfully transitioned to hosting. He currently co-hosts "Dancing with the Stars" alongside Julianne Hough, a role he took on after triumphing in the show's 19th season in 2014. His hosting credentials extend to "America's Funniest Home Videos" and "Jack Hanna's Passport," both aired on ABC.

Reflecting on his career trajectory, Ribeiro expressed contentment with his current roles but remains open to acting opportunities that resonate with him. "I'm enjoying being a host and am very happy with it. But, yes, I would go back to acting if it was exactly the right thing," he stated.

With all of these challenges, he has still managed to create a rewarding route for himself in the entertainment business, marking such achievements as the victories themselves and his continuing role on "Dancing with the Stars."