It’s been more than two decades since the release of Poetic Justice (1993), and fans are still swooning over it.
If you aren’t familiar, the movie focuses on Justice (Janet Jackson), a poet who is grieving the murder of her boyfriend. Her best friend Iesha (Regina King) invites her on a road trip to Oakland, California, along with her boyfriend Chicago (Joe Torry), and his best friend (Tupac). But Justice and Lucky, a spirited mail carrier with tired pickup lines, struggle to co-exist.
Eventually, though, things start to change. Justice and Lucky begin to bond over their shared love for art, and by the end of the film, they fall for each other.
Despite Lucky and Justice’s intense chemistry onscreen, Jackson and Tupac allegedly experienced some friction behind the scenes. Here’s why.
Jackson allegedly was not comfortable with doing intimate scenes
Reports say that Jackson allegedly didn’t want to film love scenes with Tupac, who had a reputation as a ladies man — unless he took an AIDS test.
“I don’t know if it was Janet that it came from, but suddenly, out of the blue, they wanted me to take an AIDS test for this love scene,” the “California Love” rapper said in an old interview with The Source. “And I did not disagree if we were really gonna make love. I said, ‘If I can make love with Janet Jackson, I’ll take four AIDS tests.’”
“But if I’m gonna do a love scene with her just like somebody else did and they didn’t take a test, I’m not taking a test. Not only am I not taking the test, but get out of my trailer,” Tupac continued.
He went on to say that at least four people contacted him in a bid to get him to take the test, but he refused to budge. “It don’t matter who you send, I’m not taking one. To me, it was just, like, an insult.”
With Tupac’s refusal, Jackson was reportedly forced to shoot the intimate scenes. She and the “Dear Mama” rapper share two kisses in the film.
Jackson has seemingly never commented on the remarks. However, the film’s director, John Singleton, said in a 2017 interview that the request was merely an “inside joke” and a “publicity stunt.”
If true, the “stunt” worked. Poetic Justice hit theaters in July of 1993 and raked in nearly double its $14 million budget.
Did Janet Jackson and Tupac stay in touch after ‘Poetic Justice’?
Tupac thought they would. He said in the same interview that he “really thought [he] made a friend” in Jackson. “[I thought], ‘I know Janet Jackson for life,’” Tupac continued. “But as soon as the movie was over, it was like, ‘This number has been changed.’ … It was like the day after the movie wrapped.”
But there were no hard feelings. The Juice actor went on to say that it “probably wasn’t intentional.”
Sadly, Tupac died after a shooting in 1996. But his works live on.
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