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The former costars' friendship goes all the way back to their days playing Banks sisters Ashley and Hilary starting in 1990. Now, more than 25 years since the Fresh Prince finale, they've continued to support each other — especially when Ali, 43, recently competed on RuPaul's Secret Celebrity Drag Race. (Parsons even sent through a video message this season to wish Ali well on her journey as Chakra 7!)
"Karyn's like my sister," Ali exclusively tells PEOPLE. "So we always cheer each other on her, with her writing and production and me with my performance stuff. And I'm like, Can we get closer?"
Ali says having Parson's support as she competed on Celebrity Drag Race, a period in time that required her to explore an entirely new side of herself, is "more an example of how close we are."
"I could trust sharing something that was really experimental for me," she continues. "Chakra was really experimental. It's something new. I've never done anything like that before."
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Ali was a finalist on the VH1 reality series, aiming to support the non-profit charity Hansavedas because the organization's "meditation techniques changed my life completely."
Even though she ended up losing the competition to AJ McLean as Poppy Love, Ali still is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such a series.
"I think later in my life I'll be able to look at this experience, the creation of Chakra 7 and just being immersed, even for a short time, in a world of drag art and say, 'Oh, this was my career before and this is my career after,' because I never really had anonymity," she says. "People have always known my name since I was very, very little — and to be fearless in art when people know you so well, it's hard. I'm human. I wish I was superhuman and it didn't matter. But it does. Behind Chakra 7, I could just do things that Tatyana Ali would never do."
Ali continues, "Chakra 7 allowed me this freedom. Now that door has been opened, I'm not going backwards. I'm not going backwards."
VH1/World of Wonder
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Episodes of RuPaul's Secret Celebrity Drag Race are now streaming on Paramount+.