See the Brown Sugar Cast, Then & Now

Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan starred in the 2002 movie that blended romance and hip-hop.

By Tierney Bricker Feb 15, 2021 11:00 AMTags
Watch: Boris Kodjoe & Nicole Ari Parker: E! News Rewind

"If you two hook up, you get the best of both worlds, you get the buddy and the booty!"

Released in October 2002, Brown Sugar starred Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan—who also fronted 1999's The Best Man—as life-long friends who grow up to be an A&R rep and the editor-in-chief of a hip-hop magazine, respectively. Bonded since they were kids, it's more than just their shared love of music that keeps them in each other's world for all those years.

The underrated rom-com also starred real-life couple Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker, who first met on the set of Showtime's Soul Food and celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary last June. So clearly, there was a lot of love during the making of Brown Sugar, whose all-star cast included Mos Def and Queen Latifah, and featured cameos from artists such as Jermaine Dupri, Common, Method Man, Doug E. Fresh and more.

Black Lives Matter: In Stars' Own Words

Here's what the stars of Brown Sugar are up to today...

Taye Diggs

Diggs landed the part of Drew in Brown Sugar after starring as Benjamin in the original Broadway cast of Rent, as well as films like How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Go, The Best Man and Chicago.

He'd go on to return to the world of Rent for the 2005 film and has enjoyed regular roles on the shows Private Practice, Murder in the First and All American, which just kicked off its third season on the CW. He's set to reprise the role of Harper, and reunite with Lathan, in The Best Man: The Final Chapters, Peacock's 10-epispde series that is a contination of The Best Man film franchise. 

After marrying Rent co-star Idina Menzel in 2003 and welcoming a son Walker Nathaniel Diggs in 2009, the couple split in 2013.

Sanaa Lathan

Following her epic rom-com hat trick (The Best Man, Love & Basketball and Brown Sugar), Lathan took a sci-fi turn with Alien vs. Predator and Contagion

In addition to providing the voice of Donna Tubbs on Family Guy and The Cleveland Show, as well as Catwoman on DC Comics' animated Harley Quinn series, Lathan has enjoyed series regular gigs on The Affair and Shots Fired. Next, Lathan will reprise her Best Man role in Peacock's upcoming reunion series.

And never forget, Lathan made headlines in 2018 when Tiffany Haddish alleged in a now-infamous GQ interview that the actress had once bit Beyoncé.

Mos Def

The real-life rapper played a music artist reluctant to sign to a major label in the 2002 film before going on to appear in The Italian Job and host HBO's spoken-word show Def Poetry until 2007. 

The 47-year-old earned nominations at the Golden Globes and Emmys in 2004 for his work in the miniseries Something the Lord Made, and he also appeared in Be Kind, Rewind and Cadillac Records before joining the cast of Showtime's Dexter in its sixth season.

Nominated for six Grammys, Mos Def has released five solo albums over the course of his career.

Boris Kodjoe

The Soul Food alum reunited with his Love & Basketball co-star Lathan when he took on the role of Kelby Dawson, her NBA player love interest, in Brown Sugar.

He'd go on to star in films such as The Gospel, Madea's Family Reunion and the Resident Evil franchise, as well as recur on The Real Husbands of Hollywood. Since 2018, he's starred on the Grey's Anatomy's firefighter spinoff Station 19.

Kodjoe married his Soul Food and Brown Sugar co-star Nicole Ari Parker in 2005 and the couple have two children, daughter Sophie, 15, and son Nicholas, 14. 

Nicole Ari Parker

Parker met and fell in love with Kodjoe on the set of their Showtime series Soul Food, with the couple going on to host their own talk show, The Boris & Nicole Show, in 2015.

Parker joined the cast of Fox's hit series Empire in its final two seasons and she recurred on Chicago P.D. in 2020.

Queen Latifah

A triple-threat, Queen Latifah has had a long and successful career as a music artist, actress and producer. 

She's starred in hit movies such as Hairspray, Last Holiday, Chicago and Girls Trip, and provided the voice of Ellie in the successful Ice Age franchise. On the small screen, Latifah earned a Golden Globe for the 2007 TV movie Life Support, was nominated for her turn as Bessie Smith in 2015's Bessie, and appeared in two live musicals, The Wiz Live! and The Little Mermaid Live! After starring on Fox's Star, Latifah portrayed Hattie McDaniel in Ryan Murphy's Netflix miniseries Hollywood.

Currently, the 50-year-old stars in and executive produces The Equalizer, CBS' reboot of the 2014 film.

Erik Weiner

The creator of MTV's sketch comedy series Scratch & Burn made his feature film debut as Ren, one-half of The Hip Hop Dalmatians. He'd go on to play Agent Sebso on HBO's hit series Boardwalk Empire, earning a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble In A Drama Series in 2011.

Weiner has produced several hit series, including America's Best Dance Crew, Snoop Dogg's Fatherhood, The Sing-Off and The Goldbergs. He's also earned three Emmy nominations for his writing on Robot Chicken

Brown Sugar is streaming on Hulu.

Latest News