Bel-Air‘s Phillip and Vivian aren’t the Phil and Viv that we knew before…but that isn’t a bad thing. And that’s also not to say that those iconic characters, played by James Avery and Janet Hubert/Daphne Maxwell-Reid, aren’t in the fabric of the ones played by Adrian Holmes and Cassandra Freeman.

The two are making a mark on the show right now as both characters are getting deep, nuanced stories on how both of the Banks’ parents are being impacted by Will (Jabari Banks)’s arrival and more.

Right now, there is a generational tussle between Viv and her influencer daughter, Hilary (Coco Jones). But this said tension is actually leading Viv to have some realizations herself.


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“The most succinct way I could say it is that there’s always tension between generations,” Freeman said to S&A in a recent interview. And so this is a Viv generation versus Hillary’s generation on how to succeed in America right now. And she don’t know nothing about that social media [laughs]. But also I think Hillary opens up in her how she’s given up on her dreams because…maybe she forgot about them. I don’t think she’s really thought about her dream as a choice until Hillary puts it in her face in such a derogatory kind of way, which I think between that and Will being in town and showing how unapologetically free he is, makes her remember, ‘Oh, that’s right. I’m that chick from Philly.’ Like, ‘I used to be that chick who did art and how did we get here?'”

This week's episode sees Vivian truly opening up to the idea of returning to art, as an artist. "It so as the season progresses, you'll see a woman cutting away some of the chains that have been holding her back, whether it's being a mom, being a wife and being this perfect cutout figure of a Bel-Air wife," she added.

And for the politically-ambitious Phil, he’s having to juggle both his goals as well as doing the right thing, even if that means ruffling some feathers.

“Well, he has always had his mind set on his goals and [has been] forward -hinking. And in order to achieve that level of success, you have to be very driven. But what happens is you forget to look back and see where you come from and who you’ve left behind. I think that is the struggle. He’s trying to find that balance so that he can still maintain the successful level of a career and get to the mountaintop that he’s trying to achieve. So he’s just trying to really make sure that he’s moving his pieces in a very healthy way where he doesn’t lose respect.”

Check out more with Freeman and Holmes here, and view the full interview below: