Will Smith Did 'Fresh Prince' Because He Was in Trouble With the IRS

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The story begins with Smith finding fame after he and DJ Jazzy Jeff released their breakout hit “Parents Just Don’t Understand” in the late 1980s.

Will Smith signed on to do The Fresh Prince Bel-Air because he was broke and in trouble with the IRS. 

Smith recently told the backstory how he became part the iconic sitcom on his newly formed YouTube channel. 

The story begins with Smith finding fame after he and DJ Jazzy Jeff released their breakout hit “Parents Just Don’t Understand” in the late 1980s. 

Smith says he blew through all his money, didn't pay his taxes and then had a flop when the rap duo released their second album. 

In trouble and hopeless, his then-girlfriend suggested Smith just hang around Paramount near the The Arsenio Hall Show studio in hopes meeting someone influential. 

It worked. 

Before he knew it, Smith was at the home  Quincy Jones, spitballing what would become The Fresh Prince Bel-Air

Doing an impromptu audition at Jones' home in front NBC's Brandon Tartikf, Smith was able to land the lead role in the show that would help make him a superstar. 

The Fresh Prince Bel-Air ran for six seasons from 1990 to 1996. 

Of course, to hear Smith tell it is so much more entertaining, including how embarrassing it is to be famous, but broke.  

Check out the video below: 

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.