Will Smith Responds to Viral Uncle Phil Meme

Will Smith speaks onstage at Netflix Films: "Bright" and "Death Note" panel during Comic-Con International 2017 at San Diego Convention Center on July 20, 2017 in San Diego, California.
Will Smith speaks onstage at Netflix Films: "Bright" and "Death Note" panel during Comic-Con International 2017 at San Diego Convention Center on July 20, 2017 in San Diego, California. Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Will Smith is willing to laugh at the now-viral meme of him looking just like Uncle Phil.

During a press conference at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday, July 20, a Huffington Post reporter mentioned the image —taken as a still from a video — in which Smith appears to be the spitting image of his late Fresh Prince of Bel-Air costar James Avery. “I don’t know if you saw, but a lot of fans isolated one moment where they said you reminded them of…” the reporter said as Smith, who was there to promote his film Bright, interjected to finish the sentence: “Uncle Phil!”

Will Smith and James Avery as Philip Banks
Will Smith and James Avery as Philip Banks YouTube; NBCU Photo Bank

In the screen grab from a GoPro video taken during a March bungee-jumping excursion, Smith sports gray facial hair and a shaved head, as Avery did on the beloved sitcom.

Smith, 48, was also able to laugh at images circulating online comparing the facial hair he sported in Bright to a fake mustache he wore on an episode of the ‘90s sitcom.  “The mustache! I hated that mustache,” Smith said of his modern-day facial hair. “That was so bad.”

As previously reported, Avery passed away in December 2013. Years later, Smith posted a touching tribute and photo of Avery, Alfonso Ribeiro, Tatyana Ali and Karyn Parsons. “Some of my greatest lessons in Acting, Living and being a respectable human being came through James Avery,” he wrote on Facebook in September 2016. “Every young man needs an Uncle Phil.”

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