See the Students of ‘Higher Learning’ Then and Now
In John Singleton’s 1995 film ‘Higher Learning,’ a group of students attend the fictional Columbus University. The diverse, good-looking cast may have looked like they came straight out of a college brochure photo, but the situation on campus turns out to be a lot less idyllic than that.The movie featured quite a few young actors who have since enjoyed long careers. See what the cast of ‘Higher Learning’ is up these days below.
Omar Epps, Malik Williams
Then: Epps starred as academically-challenged track star Malik Williams in ‘Higher Learning.’ The previous year Epps had played another athlete, Willie Mays Hayes, in ‘Major League 2.’
Now: For its last nine seasons Epps portrayed Dr. Dennis Gant on ’House,’ which just ended its highly-rated run. He is married to Keisha Spivey from the R&B group Total, and they have two children.
Kristy Swanson, Kristen Connor
Then: Swanson played naïve college freshmen Kristen Connor who experiments with lesbian after an attempted rape. She is probably best known from that time period as a more aggressive character — in 1992, Swanson played the title role in the original ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ movie.
Now: The 42-year-old recently guest-starred on ‘Psych’ and will be one of the stars of the 2013 family movie ‘The Bouquet.’
Michael Rapaport, Remy
Then: Rapaport channeled his nervous energy as Remy, a confused college student who becomes a white supremacist. Rapaport was all over the big screen during the ’90s, with memorable roles in movies such as ‘True Romance’ and ‘Beautiful Girls.’
Now: Rapaport has been a consistent face on TV and movies since ‘Higher Learning.’ (Remember his Fox series ‘The War at Home’?) His biggest role of the last couple years has been lending his unique voice to the ‘Pound Puppies’ cartoon series.
Ice Cube, Fudge
Then: Ice Cube played the hotheaded, Frederick Douglass quoting Fudge in ‘Higher Learning.’ It was his second movie with director John Singleton, having made his film debut in 1991’s ‘Boyz n the Hood.’
Now: Ice Cube continues to make his improbable transition from gangsta rapper to star of family entertainment (‘Are We There Yet’) and cuddly product pitchman (Coors Lite).
Jennifer Connelly, Taryn
Then: Connelly played lesbian activist Taryn who takes Kristen under her wing. The former child star was one of the film’s bigger names at the time, having starred in ‘The Rocketeer’ and in ‘Labyrinth’ as a young adult.
Now: Connelly, who won a Best Supporting Oscar for her work on 2001’s ‘A Beautiful Mind,’ is set to star with Kristen Bell and Greg Kinnear in ‘Writers’ later this year. The 41-year-old is married to actor Paul Bettany, whom she met while filming ‘A Beautiful Mind.’
Tyra Banks, Deja
Then: Banks played Malik’s fellow track star and eventual girlfriend. It was the film debut for the swimsuit model, who had previously appeared on episodes of ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ and as one of the morphing faces in Michael Jackson’s ‘Black or White’ video.
Now: The former talk show diva barely acts these days, but she still has a quite a TV presence as the star and executive producer of ‘America’s Next Top Model.’
Regina King, Monet
Then: Regina King played Monet, a freshman at Columbus University. It was her first movie role after starring as Brenda Jenkins on the sitcom ‘227.’ A year after ‘Higher Learning’ was released , King memorably played Cuba Gooding Jr’s wife in ‘Jerry Maguire.’
Now: King stars as detective Lydia Adams on ‘Southland.’ The 41-year-old is said to be dating fellow ‘80s NBC TV star Malcolm-Jamal Warner.
Cole Hauser, Scott Moss
Then: Hauser was skinhead leader Scott Moss in ‘Higher Learning.’ The 19-year-old previously had supporting roles in ‘School Ties’ and ‘Dazed and Confused.’
Now: The 37-year-old was recently the star of the short-lived TV series ‘Chase.’ Next year he will play a prominent role in ‘A Good Day to Die Hard,’ the latest chapter in the ‘Die Hard’ saga.
Busta Rhymes, Dreads
Then: Busta Rhymes played Dreads, a student who likes to play his rap music loud and bust heads whenever possible.
Now: Rhymes, which is the stage name for Trevor Tahiem Smith, Jr., recently released his ninth studio album for free on Google Play. His last movie appearance was in ‘Unforgiving’ (not the Clint Eastwood one), playing a character named Lick Wilson.
Adam Goldberg, David Issacs
Then: You might remember Goldberg as a Jewish student who clashed with Remy, you know, because he was a skinhead. Goldberg also starred in ‘Dazed and Confused.’
Now: In addition to starring as Semitic superhero ‘The Hebrew Hammer,’ Goldberg was the lead of the just-cancelled police procedural drama ‘NYC 22.’ Next year he will play notorious pornographer Harry Reems in ‘Inferno: A Linda Lovelace Story.’
Jay R. Ferguson, Billy
Then: Ferguson played date-rapey frat guy Billy in ‘Higher Learning.’ He got his acting start as Ponyboy Curtis in the TV adaptation of the S.E. Hinton novel ‘The Outsiders.’
Now: These days the 38-year-old is Sterling Cooper art director Sam Rizzo on ‘Mad Men.’