We’ve all witnessed the growth of Kadeem Hardison. We were first introduced to Hardison as the cool nerd on “A Different World.” Twenty years later, Hardison stars as a cool father on Disney’s “K.C. Undercover.”
Hardison recently chatted with rolling out about his new show, working with Zendaya, and the impact of “A Different World.”
How did you first get involved with the show “K.C. Undercover”?
The old-fashioned way. I got a call from my agent and I went and auditioned. It was pretty standard in terms of how I got it. It was interesting because I didn’t know much about Zendaya beforehand. Once I went and auditioned, without meeting her, I told my nieces and nephews that I had auditioned for this show. Once I told them it was Zendaya, they flipped. It kind of came in my head like, “OK, this might be something to get involved in.”
What can the TV audience expect from the show?
Our daughter, Zendaya, turns 16 and we decide to introduce her to the family business. So we recruit her to join our family business. She’s perfect spy material. So it was a no-brainer that when she became of age that we bring her in.
Recently, the cast of “A Different World” reunited on Oprah’s “Where Are They Now?” How was it to see the cast and discuss the significance of the show?
It was awesome. We weren’t planning to leave any marks when we did it, or any kind of significance. We were just having a good time going to work trying to make a good show that people would like in the moment. It was great to see everybody again and get everybody in the same room. We see each other separately, but never all together. We never have everyone all together like that. Everything is kind of split up. But having everybody in the same room with Debbie Allen was a thrill.
With reruns, a new generation has a chance to view Black students at an HBCU. How does it feel to know that the show inspired kids to attend college?
That’s the best thing I could ever hear compliment wise. When people tell me they want to be an engineer because of my character, or someone tells me they went to college because of the show, it never gets old. I wish there was another show like it now. The kids who didn’t find the reruns could have something that was on right in front of them to take the same kind of inspiration.
K.C. UNDERCOVER – Behind the scenes with the cast of “K.C. Undercover,” Disney Channel’s new live-action spy comedy series for kids, tweens and families, starring multi-talented recording artist/actress Zendaya. “K.C. Undercover” premieres SUNDAY, JANUARY 18 (8:30 pm, ET/PT) on Disney Channel. (Disney Channel/Eric McCandless)
TAMMY TOWNSEND, KADEEM HARDISON