Actor and director Kadeem Hardison, 56, is best known for his role as Dwayne Wayne on the Cosby Show spinoff A Different World, the fictional HBCU, Hillman College aired on the NBC for seven seasons, from 1987 through 1993, which depicted the lives and relationships of Black college students. The show also starred Lisa Bonet, Marisa Tomei, Jasmine Guy, Dawnn Lewis, Sinbad, Glynn Turman, Jada Pinkett Smith, Cree Summer, Darryl M. Bell, and others.


Jada Pinkett Smith and Tupac

Jada Pinkett Smith and Tupac – Photo IMDb

In the latest episode of the Allison Interviews podcast with host and entertainment journalist, Allison Kugel, the K.C. Undercover star spoke about directing Jada Pinkett Smith and Tupac Shakur together on A Different World.

“It was fantastic. They had a seamless chemistry.  How do you direct De Niro and Pacino?  You just kind of stand back and let them go. You hope that the cameras are in focus. I didn’t really have to tell him much.  I didn’t have to tell her hardly anything. It was a joy to watch.  It was probably the easiest directing job. The fight scene we had to tweak a little bit.  We had to work on it, because it was a fight between Jada’s character’s current boyfriend and Pac’s character.  So, we had to spend some time working that out, but once I said ‘Action,’ it took on a life of its own. It felt like a real fight. It felt like a real brawl, and that was Pac.  That was him going in, like, ‘I’m going to whoop this sucker.’ It was awesome to direct the two of them.  They were good buds and I kept asking her, ‘Is he going to show up? Because I have lots of rapper friends and I knew that [being on] time is not their friend?  She said, ‘Yes, he’s coming. He’s on his way.’

“I always felt like I loved Tupac as a rapper, but I was jealous of him as an actor, because I just thought he had such range. He could touch places that I didn’t know if I could go. I just wanted to watch.  But it wasn’t Macbeth, you know what I mean?  He’s playing the neighborhood cat that comes in full of bravado to claim the girl he thinks is his. He was like, ‘Yeah, I can do that.’  (laugh). [Jada] was playing the girl who was trying to get away from that life. There were no real notes for them. There was no reason to say, ‘Hey try it like this.’ Everything they did was magic.”

Photo by Michael Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock (9710098r)