See the Students of ‘Higher Learning’ Then and Now
In John Singletonâs 1995 film âHigher Learning,â 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 âHigher Learningâ is up these days below.
Omar Epps, Malik Williams
Then: Epps starred as academically-challenged track star Malik Williams in âHigher Learning.â The previous year Epps had played another athlete, Willie Mays Hayes, in âMajor League 2.â
Now: For its last nine seasons Epps portrayed Dr. Dennis Gant on âHouse,â 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 naÃ¯ve 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 âBuffy The Vampire Slayerâ movie.
Now: The 42-year-old recently guest-starred on âPsychâ and will be one of the stars of the 2013 family movie âThe Bouquet.â
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 âTrue Romanceâ and âBeautiful Girls.â
Now: Rapaport has been a consistent face on TV and movies since âHigher Learning.â (Remember his Fox series ‘The War at Home’?) His biggest role of the last couple years has been lending his unique voice to the âPound Puppiesâ cartoon series.
Ice Cube, Fudge
Then: Ice Cube played the hotheaded, Frederick Douglass quoting Fudge in âHigher Learning.â It was his second movie with director John Singleton, having made his film debut in 1991âs âBoyz n the Hood.â
Now: Ice Cube continues to make his improbable transition from gangsta rapper to star of family entertainment (âAre We There Yetâ) 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 âThe Rocketeerâ and in âLabyrinthâ as a young adult.
Now: Connelly, who won a Best Supporting Oscar for her work on 2001âs âA Beautiful Mind,â is set to star with Kristen Bell and Greg Kinnear in âWritersâ later this year. The 41-year-old is married to actor Paul Bettany, whom she met while filming âA Beautiful Mind.â
Tyra Banks, Deja
Then: Banks played Malikâs fellow track star and eventual girlfriend. It was the film debut for the swimsuit model, who had previously appeared on episodes of âThe Fresh Prince of Bel-Airâ 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 âAmericaâs Next Top Model.â
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 â227.â 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 âSouthland.â The 41-year-old is said to be dating fellow â80s NBC TV star Malcolm-Jamal Warner.
Cole Hauser, Scott Moss
Then: Hauser was skinhead leader Scott Moss in âHigher Learning.’ The 19-year-old previously had supporting roles in âSchool Tiesâ and âDazed and Confused.â
Now: The 37-year-old was recently the star of the short-lived TV series âChase.â Next year he will play a prominent role in âA Good Day to Die Hard,â the latest chapter in the âDie Hardâ 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 âUnforgivingâ (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 âNYC 22.â Next year he will play notorious pornographer Harry Reems in âInferno: A Linda Lovelace Story.â
Jay R. Ferguson, Billy
Then: Ferguson played date-rapey frat guy Billy in âHigher Learning.’ He got his acting start as Ponyboy Curtis in the TV adaptation of the S.E. Hinton novel âThe Outsiders.â
Now: These days the 38-year-old is Sterling Cooper art director Sam Rizzo on âMad Men.’