Coco Jones [@cocojones] is reviving Hilary Banks

Coco Jones [@cocojones] is reviving Hilary Banks

The Bel-Air spin-off has revived many of the characters we used to see on our screens. The show managed to capture a blend of nostalgia with modernity – although the characters are the same, their challenges and quirks aren’t. In celebration of this new season, we spoke with Coco Jones to discuss what to expect this season.

GUAP: On the topics of race and colorism, Hilary is now a dark-skinned woman. Do you think that this changes the character in any way? 

Coco: Truthfully, I don’t think being a dark-skinned version of Hilary challenges Hilary, but more so, being a modern version of Hilary changes the character. Because modern women have to get it – it is more the time we are in that changes how Hilary has changed. I am glad she gets to have OG elements like fashion, but I am also glad that, realistically, she also gets to her career. She has goals and a career she sees for herself.

GUAP: Hilary has a lot of different outfits this season. Do you have a favorite in mind? 

Coco: Honestly, the first episode of Season 2 – the dress I wore to Ashley’s birthday on the yacht, I’m just like, ‘I did not have to show out like that at Ashley’s birthday?’. But Queenie, the costume director, saw this dress that was beautiful on the runway but was like 80k, so she bought it from a seamstress. They literally designed the dress from scratch – it was really cool to see that come about. 

GUAP: Another tension we’re curious about is the relationship Hilary has in being very independent within her career yet very vulnerable within her relationship – how did you balance this dynamic as an actress?

Coco: I think Hilary is very much coming-of-age and figuring herself out. In her career, she has been very decisive. However, it’s a whole different version of yourself being in a relationship, and finding that balance is a constant journey. Even adults struggle – even her parents are, so I think it is a natural human plight to figure out that balance of who you are outside and inside your relationship. Those are two versions that have to be consistent as well so you don’t lose yourself. 

GUAP: Do you think she is at risk of losing herself then?

Coco: In Hilary’s specific career field, it is harder not to lose yourself – in any influencer role, there is so much pretend and comparison. Putting your life on the internet is different. I think it’s one of the most challenging careers not to lose yourself because you’re marketing yourself and giving yourself to the world. 

GUAP: If there was a message you wanted the character to send out to young black women, what would it be? 

Coco: I think I would want the message to be who says you cannot have it all? Because either way, Hilary’s going to get it. The treatment, if it’s there with La Marcus or the love with Jazz. She’s gonna get her career, and she’s gonna get it her way. If somebody’s gonna get it, why not me? 

GUAP: Lastly, for everyone that’s about to watch the show, what can they expect? 

Coco:I think they can expect a lot of twists and turns. Also, it’s a different dynamic now that all the characters have been properly introduced. It is more about you getting to hang out with these characters instead of first meeting them. You get to go deeper into whom they become, and it is more of an intimate journey this season. 

All episodes of Bel-Air S2 are out now on Sky Max.

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