Spike Lee’s 1988 film She’s Gotta Have It made waves because it was so unique. The protagonist was a polyamorous woman with three boyfriends who refused to answer to anyone about her choices, but back then there weren’t as many labels for sexuality.
Twenty-nine years later, the discussion continues about ownership and body autonomy with the Netflix TV series, but let’s take a trip down memory lane and see what the original actors are up to.
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Lee starred as the original Mars Blackmon. Since then, he has been nominated for two Academy Awards, and is currently the executive producer on the updated version of She’s Gotta Have It, and other projects that foster new voices in film.
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She captivated audiences as Nola Darling, the quintessential sexually liberated fly girl. Johns went on to appear in New Jack City, and in Red Hook Summer as Mother Darling, a grown up Nola Darling who became a Jehovah’s Witness.
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She originally played Clorinda Bradford and went on to appear in other Spike Lee films like Crooklyn, Mo’ Better Blues, and more. She will appear in the TV adaptation of She’s Gotta Have It as a different character.
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Back then, she played Nola Darling’s therapist. From there she went on to appear in several episodes of Law & Order, and can boast Emmy, Obie, Sag, and Golden Globe wins, as well as two Tony nominations. Next up she will play Marvin Gaye’s mother in the forthcoming biopic about his life, Sexual Healing.
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Back then he played one of the random dog’s with a cheesy pick up line. Today, Hudlin has added director and production credits to his resume. He directed House Party, Boomerang, an episode of Modern Family, he’s one of the producers of last year’s Academy Awards and more.
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This actor, who played the hell out of Greer Childs, went on to appear in Mo’Better Blues, The Five Heartbeats and Boomerang before going on a hiatus for several years and then getting back into acting.
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Fab 5 Freddy was already well-known in the New York hip-hop scene at the time he delivered a cheesy pick up line in She’s Gotta Have It. Since then, the former VJ of Yo! MTV Raps made more TV appearances in New Jack City, Law & Order Criminal Intent, and you can find his original artwork on his website.
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Viewers met Hicks as Jamie Overstreet, one of Nola’s suitors. Since then he has appeared in Daughter’s of the Dust, The Five Heartbeats, Meteor Man and Charmed.
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We remember Opal Gilstrap as Nola’s lesbian friend who also wanted a piece of Nola’s pie. Dowell went on to appear in more Spike Like Lee joints like Mo’ Better Blues and Malcolm X. She also appeared in Boomerang, Living Single, and began producing films.
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