Other than aiding his friends in a record-store heist — schmoozing the light-skinned, gold-tooth-wearing front-desk cashier while his friends used their five-finger discount for a few albums — Q (best line: "Man, you know what your problem is? You got no juice") was the most levelheaded of the group. He was an aspiring DJ and narrowly walked out of a robbery at Trip's (Samuel L. Jackson) store. This was Epps' first role in a feature film.
Shortly after Juice, Epps starred as Malik Williams in another cult classic, Higher Learning. But after memorable performances in The Wood (1999) and Love & Basketball (2000), Epps distanced himself from roles with all-black casts. He has said, "The whole black Hollywood thing doesn't exist for me anymore." So since 2004, Epps has co-starred in House as Dr. Eric Foreman, a neurologist on Dr. Gregory House's team of specialists.
Bishop was, admittedly, a bit crazy. He killed several people in the film and didn't give a damn. With a black turtleneck; a gold-plated chain, à la Nino Brown in New Jack City; and a high-top fade with a deep, curved part, the rapper — in his first major acting role — created a character that would become iconic.
This September marks 16 years since the death of Shakur. Last year Soulja Boy was heavily promoting a Juice remake, in which he'd reprise Pac's role as Bishop. Could the Atlanta rapper do Pac justice? We hope we never have to find out.
Steel was often the butt of the crew's jokes. He was overweight, wore red lumberjack overalls over a Freddy Krueger-looking turtleneck and was always the last one running away from trouble when the cops came knocking. He'd probably be considered the "soft one" of the bunch because he boo-hooed after Bishop killed Raheem. If you don't remember Hopkins as Steel, we're sure you remember this.
Well, the end of 2011 wasn't too kind to Hopkins. He was caught buying 200 pounds of marijuana in Arizona, with $100,000 in his SUV. Before his mug shot was plastered all over TMZ, he appeared as a friend to the Wayans brothers on their sitcom from 1996 to 1998 and co-starred opposite Bill Bellamy as Kilo in How to Be a Player (1997). His most recent role was in a straight-to-DVD film, Cash Rules, in 2008.
Raheem was clearly the leader of the group, jumping in to protect Bishop before he's jumped by Radames and his crew and offering words of support for Q before his DJ-competition tryout. He's also a ladies' man. Watch as he has a brief argument with his baby's mother, Keisha. (Remember her from Dangerous Minds?) As with Kain's fellow young cast members, this was one of his first roles.
Does Kain ever age? In 2010 he played Bill, a charmer-turned-rapist, in For Colored Girls. Like most of his Juice cast mates, he has also fared pretty well in Hollywood since 1992. He had recurring roles in the 1990s on Living Single and Lush Life. He played Marvin, Nia Long's jerky ex-fiancé, in Love Jones. And he played Tiger Woods in 1998. But of course, his longest on-screen role was in Mara Brock Akil's Girlfriends as Darnell, Maya's (Golden Brooks) on-again, off-again husband, from 2001 to 2007.
Juice was Dickerson's directorial debut. After studying film at New York University (alongside classmate Spike Lee), he assisted on several Spike Lee joints, including She's Gotta Have It (1986), Do the Right Thing (1989) and Malcolm X (1992). In an Entertainment Weekly review, Owen Gleiberman had this to say about Dickerson's project without Lee: "It's clear, though, that he's a born filmmaker. He captures the jittery, combative rhythm of a way of life."
Dickerson is still an active director in Hollywood. He has directed several episodes of popular TV shows, including Treme, The Wire, Weeds and Lincoln Heights.
In Juice, Herron played Q's girlfriend, Yolanda, a nurse at the hospital where Steel is taken after he's shot. Steel tells Yolanda that Bishop is trying to frame Q. In the 1990s Herron was, of course, more famous for being one-fourth of the R&B group En Vogue. But she was also constantly scoring small roles in TV series, including Amen and Full House in the late '80s.
En Vogue performed at the 2009 Essence Festival in New Orleans. In 2007 Herron played Deena Jones in the stage version of Dreamgirls in Atlanta. Her last on-screen role was in 2004 in a straight-to-DVD film, If You Hadn't Left Me Lonely.
In an early scene in the film, Bishop is cornered by Laresca's character, Radames, and his crew — Treach of Naughty by Nature included. "You think your sh— is that bad, man? You got that much juice?" Radames taunts Bishop. You can see the fear in Bishop's eyes, until Raheem and Q come over the hill to rescue him. As Radames, Laresca — making his feature-film debut — would become Bishop's first victim.
Laresca has maintained a rather steady career in Hollywood and has appeared in several TV series, including NYPD Blue, New York Undercover, 24 and Weeds. Last year he was particularly busy, appearing in The Good Wife, Blue Bloods, Hawthorne, Suits and Person of Interest.
Jackson played Trip, the owner of a local store where the crew played video games.
Jackson is starring alongside Angela Bassett in the Broadway production of The Mountaintop, a play based on the final days of Martin Luther King Jr. He is rumored to have a role in Quentin Tarantino's upcoming film Django Unchained, about a slave who takes revenge on his former owner. Jackson is always hard at work in Hollywood. According to IMDB, he has several films on tap for 2012, including The Avengers and The Samaritan.
He didn't have many lines in the film, but Gore played Brian, Q's younger brother. In 1994, shortly after he appeared in Juice, he scored a recurring role on New York Undercover as Gregory "G" Williams, Malik Yoba's young son. Watch his short scene in Juice here.
In 2001 Gore landed on network television again as Junior, the dim-witted son on Damon Wayans' My Wife and Kids. After that show's five-season run, he had roles in two TV movies and a small role in Wayans' Dance Flick in 2009.
In the early 1990s, Queen Latifah was more known for her rapping abilities than for her acting skills. In a brief cameo, she plays Ruffhouse M.C., a judge for a local deejaying competition. Watch this scene as she tells Flex Alexander that he needs more experience and that he's completely wack.
Reaching back to her musical roots, Queen Latifah stars in the gospel-themed Joyful Noise opposite Dolly Parton and Keke Palmer, in theaters now.