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Tips From The Top: One On One With The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s Daphne Maxwell Reid

I spoke to Daphne Maxwell Reid, famous for her role as the second Aunt Vivian in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, about life off-screen and her best advice

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Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to share your story and what you have learned from your journey
to date. First things first, though, what is something about you that your fans don’t know?

Daphne: I like to cook and have dinner parties with interesting people.

Adam: What failures, setbacks or challenges have been most instrumental to your development and
success?

Daphne: All failures have been lessons for my development. I was brave enough to overcome failures by getting up.

Adam: In your experience, what are the common qualities among those who have been able to enjoy
success in the entertainment industry?

Daphne: Passion, commitment, and quest for knowledge.

Adam: What was your favorite part of the experience of playing Aunt Vivian?

Daphne: My favorite part was the welcome and respect that I received from everyone working on the show. They were so warm, embracing, and professional, that I felt like I had always been there.

Adam: Other than the actresses playing role, what would you say are the differences between the two Aunt Vivians?

Daphne: The differences were the personalities inherent in each of us that were the difference in the Aunt Vivian character. They were both played from our “truths” that we brought to the role.

Adam: Who have been the biggest influences in your life and why?

Daphne: My mother, who taught me to be non-judgmental, and my husband, for inspiring me to share my gifts.

Adam: What are the best lessons you have learned through your career in entertainment that are
applicable to those who will never earn a living in front of or behind the camera?

Daphne: Pay attention to the small details of your journey through life; in them lie the riches of joyful living.

Adam: What is the single best piece of advice you have ever received?

Daphne: Never let the successes go to your head, nor the failures go to your heart.

Adam: What are your hobbies and how have they shaped you?

Daphne: Sewing – I always have something unique to wear; cooking – I have shared many meals); and photography – it has taken me around the world. 

Adam: You have received coverage for your photography work. What is the best advice you have when it comes to photography?

Daphne: My best advice for anyone who loves photography is to shoot only what interests you and be able to determine why it should be shared with other people. What are you trying to convey? Point it out and capture it with your camera.

Adam: What is one thing everyone should be doing to pay it forward?   

Daphne: Make one small difference in someone’s life each day, even if it’s just a smile.

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