Twenty years ago today, producer Spike Lee and Gramercy Pictures took a chance on a little flick called New Jersey Drive, a story focused on working class kids joy-riding through Newark, NJ, known as the car theft capital of the word at the time. Directed by Nick Gomez, Drive followed Jason (Sharron Corley), Midget (Gabriel Casseus), and Tiny Dime (Donald Faison) as they bonded over stolen cars and pawned them off to the highest bidder while attempting to keep one step ahead of the law and Jason’s mother.
A film about loyalty and the vicious cycle that was (and still is) inner city life in Newark, all set to grooves from Queen Latifah, Naughty By Nature, MC Eiht, Redman, Heavy D, and more, Drive wasn’t a monster hit when it came out but has remained a cult classic to this day, also serving as a launchpad or validation mark for pretty much every actor involved. Twenty years after the flick’s release, we found ourselves asking: where is the cast now?
Sharron Corley (Jason Petty)
Corley’s come-up in the acting game wasn’t easy. He had his first exposure to acting when he was cast in a high school play, and after that decided to leave the gang life behind and pursue acting full time. He got the gig as the character Jason in New Jersey Drive when the film’s casting director happened across his photo on the cover of the Village Voice, all while Corley was working at restaurants, law firms, and The Gap. Since Drive, Corley acted in a few other films before becoming an entrepreneur in his own right opening a barbershop in Harlem.
Donald Faison (Tiny Dime)
Out of the entire cast, Faison may very well be the most famous acting-wise, and it started after his role in New Jersey Drive. He had a minor role in the film Clueless this same year before moving on to star in hits like Remember The Titans. Of course, he’s most well-known and loved for playing Chris Turk on Scrubs from 2001-2010, and now stars on the TV Land sitcom The Exes.
Gabriel Casseus (Midget)
Casseus’ breakout role as the volatile Midget was just the first feather under his cap. Casseus eventually moved on to star in films like Get on the Bus, Fallen, and Before I Self-Destruct, TV series like Law & Order, 24, and CSI, and he even co-wrote the 2010 flick Takers. Midget’s been around.
Saul Stein (Officer Roscoe)
Stein might be best known as Officer Roscoe, but he’s also built himself a decent film career, including parts in He Got Game, Open Water, and on the television soap General Hospital.
Heavy D (Bo-Kane)
Heavy D is inarguably one of the greatest rappers of all time, but even the leader of The Boyz had time to act in movies. In addition to playing Bo-Kane here, D lent his time to flicks like The Cider House Rules, Step Up, and Tower Heist. Sadly, the Overweight Lover passed away in 2011 due to a lung embolism.
Gwen McGee (Renee Petty)
McGee played Jason’s obviously concerned mother, Renee. Since New Jersey Drive she has racked up an impressive list of TV credits, from “Babylon 5,” and “Sparks,” and more recently “Shameless,” “Criminal Minds” and “Days of Our Lives.”
Roscoe Orman (Judge)
Orman features in a small role as the judge who sentences Jason, which is pretty far removed from the rest of his screen work. He’s renowned for his role as Gordon on Sesame Street, but his work has stretched across TV (Law & Order, Sanford & Son, The Wire) film (Willie Dynamite, Follow That Bird, Twilight’s Last Gleaming), and even audiobooks.