‘She Got the Husband’: Nia Long Talks Beating Out Jada Pinkett Smith for Part of Will Smith’s Girlfriend on ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’

Nia Long was a guest on PeopleTV’s “Couch Surfing” on Thursday, March 5 and talked about playing Will Smith‘s girlfriend Lisa Wilkes on the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” in 1994.

Long said that she was brought in on the fifth season of the show and got the part after it was first given to Will’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

Nia Long (left) talked about getting the role of Will Smith’s girlfriend over Jada Pinkett Smith (right) on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” (Photos: Arturo Holmes/Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images, Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

But it turned out, the casting people thought Jada was too short to play the part of Wilkes, which is why it was given to Long.

“I just remember that this was literally the last day I was on the show,” said Long, who watched an episode during her visit.

“I was originally cast to do two or three episodes,” she continued. “First, they cast Jada to play his girlfriend. Yes, they cast Jada and they were like, ‘Jada’s too short.’ I’m like, ‘I’m only about two inches taller than her, that does not make a difference, right?’ The joke that I have with Jada is that I got the job but she got the husband.”

Jada and Will met each other when Jada auditioned for the part of his girlfriend, and they began dating less than one year later.

The couple — who tied the knot on Dec. 31, 1997 — talked about that meeting on a 2018 episode of Jada’s show “Red Table Talk.”

They now have two children together, Jaden and Willow Smith. Plus, Will has a 27-year-old son named Trey Smith, whom he had with his first wife Sheree Zampino.

“I knew that there was something in our energy that would be magic,” said Will about Jada in regards to their first meeting.

Long also found love after she was cast on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and got engaged to assistant coach of the Philadelphia 76ers Ime Udoka, whom she has a son with.

Long has an older son as well, one she shares with actor Massai Dorsey.

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