Before Lisa Bonet, A Known Actress Was Set To Be Star Of DifferentWorld..Many Are Glad She Declined

Posted On : April 9, 2019

Meet The Original ‘Star’ Of A Different World

Like I said, the actress who was originally chosen as the star of A Different World is one that most of us would least expected. That actress is none other than Meg Ryan- as in, Sleepless in Seattle Meg, as in When Harry Met Sally Meg Ryan, as in…well, y’all catch my drift.

Embed from Getty Images

Thank You Meg

While I have nothin’ but love for Meg and her acting skills, I wanna take this time to send a personal ‘thank you’ to her for rejecting her A Different World role in the final hour. Had she not done so, the show’s ratings probably would’ve have plummeted to the depths of hell, before it even had a chance to get going…just sayin.’

The Original Plot Was WAAAY Different

A Different World was originally set to be based on a White student’s experience, while attending a predominantly Black HBCU. However, things changed when Meg Ryan decided to pull outta the show to focus on movie roles. Her rejection of the role, is how Lisa Bonet ended up being pushed to the forefront as the show’s lead character. It’s also how Marisa Tomei ended up being the ‘White chick’ in the HBCU setting- except this time, Lisa was a secondary cast member- unlike what they’d previously offered Meg.

Lisa Bonet’s Stint Didn’t Last Neither, But…

Needless to say, Lisa Bonet only lasted one year on the show, before becoming pregnant with her daughter (with Lenny Kravitz), Zoe Kravitz. Even though she left the show, it was her initial presence as the already established “Denise Huxtable” character, that helped set the foundation for the show’s popularity. Well…that and the fact that A Different World had one of the best primetime slots a new sitcom could’ve asked for – it aired after between The Cosby Show and Cheers.

Lisa’s departure then pushed “Whitley Gilbert” (Jasmine Guy) and “Dwayne Wayne” (Kadeem Hardison) into the show’s spotlight, while opening new doors for the 2nd season newcomers, “Freddy” (Cree Summers) and Kim Reese (Charnele Brown).

Thank you again Meg Ryan for saying ‘hell to the naw’ to A Different World. Gotta love the Old School memories!