Holly Robinson Peete burst on the scene in the now iconic 80s cop TV drama, 21 Jump Street. Twenty five years later, she’s back on the screen (albeit a few minutes) as police officer Judy Hoffs in the buzzed-about remake starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.
The actress says she was “pleasantly surprised” by the remake despite criticisms from die-hard 21 Jump Street fans who think the classic should be left alone. “I can understand where they’re coming from,” she tells ESSENCE.com, “but I think they’ll see that it’s been executed and updated in a clever way. I have to give props to everyone involved, especially Jonah Hill.”
As for her cameo, Peete says she’s ecstatic but can’t understand how Hoffs got demoted from detective in the original TV show, to officer in the remake. “I’m gonna let that slide,” she jokes. “I must have done something wrong because I sure did work hard to be detective back then.”
All the buzz about the remake hasn’t been without its controversy. A scene where Ice Cube’s character uses the term “autistic” as an insult towards Hill’s character has caught the ire of autism advocates like Peete who says she spoke with Sony Pictures and the movie’s co-director, Phil Lord. “They were trying to be funny, and didn’t realize how this word can be a lightening rod,” she says. “I was able to speak with director Phil and Sony and they were so compassionate. I think it was a really good teaching moment.”
Will you be seeing the remake of 21 Jump Street?