It’s been 25 years since Dead Presidents starring Larenz Tate, Chris Tucker and Bokeem Woodbine released in theaters. It was the Hughes brothers (Albert and Allen Hughes) second film after their wildly popular breakout Menace II Society, and according to Tate, Jada Pinkett-Smith was supposed to star in the film.
It would be years later while the two were starring in Girls Trip that Tate would find out why she turned down the role of Delilah Benson played by N’Bushe Wright.
“We’re on set in New Orleans talking about that experience and I said well Jada I talked to the Hughes brothers and you were supposed to be in the movie. She was like ‘I was’. I was like ‘well why didn’t you do the movie?,'” he said.
“She said I just couldn’t do it because at the time I was really close with Tupac, and Tupac at the time had this beef with the Hughes brothers.”
If you’re wondering Tupac’s beef with the Hughes Brothers stemmed from him being booted from Menace II Society and later getting into a fight with Allen Hughes on a music video set.
As luck would have it Tate and Jada would work together again in Maddie Rich’s The Ink Well. From there Tate’s career began to skyrocket with offers coming in for a slew of films. But there are a few he regrets turning down.
“Brown Sugar came to me, ummm and I felt it was kind of close to what we were doing in “Love Jones, but I liked the movie. Taye [Diggs] and everybody did a good job,” he said also revealing he turned The Best Man also played by Diggs.
“Malcolm Lee wanted me to play the Taye Diggs role and again I felt like he was a writer and … I just kept thinking how can I make this different.”
These days the 45-year-old leading man can be seen on Power Book II: Ghost. Tate resumes his role as Councilman Rashad Tate a smooth-talking, no-nonsense politician from Power, who fans love to hate.
“You know how many people come up to me and are like, ‘I hate Tate, but I love you,’ laughed Larenz. “But I love the character and playing someone who keeps people talking and keeps me on my toes.”
Another project he hopes will have people talking is Business Ethics — an indie flick he’s starring and producing through his company TateMen Entertainment.
If people think [Councilman] Tate is off the chain wait until they see this guy,” he said of his character Zachary Cranston.
“This is a guy who was at the top of his business school class. He is the smartest dude in the room, graduated with honors. He works for a top financial money management firm that gets shut down because of some shady business,” he explains.
“His career as a financial manager is bleak now … so he’s decides to create a master mind, ponzi scheme.”
Business Ethics drops Oct. 23 via Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, or Google Play.