Kadeem Hardison Joins Ed Brubaker’s Prime Video Series ‘Criminal’ As Series Regular

EXCLUSIVE: Kadeem Hardison (A Different World, Grown-ish) has been set as a series regular in Ed Brubaker’s Prime Video graphic novel series Criminal. He joins the previously announced cast Adria Arjona and Richard Jenkins.

Criminal is an interlocking universe of crime stories based on the multi-Eisner Award-winning graphic novel series created by Brubaker and Sean Phillips.

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Hardison will portray the character Gnarly, an old friend of Leo and Ivan. Gnarly was his nickname as a boxer back in the 1970s and it’s all anyone calls him. He walks with a limp, an old one. Gnarly’s a local legend, and he can go from warm to fierce in a heartbeat. He commands respect, partly because he can inflict massive physical damage, even at his advanced age — and partly because he has the authority and gravitas to stop other men in their tracks.

As Deadline previously revealed exclusively, Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden are confirmed to direct the first four episodes. The series is executive produced by Brubaker and Jordan Harper, alongside Phillips, Sarah Carbiener and Philipp Barnett. Legendary Television will also serve as an executive producer. The series is produced by Amazon MGM Studios.

Hardison is best known for bringing to life the fast-talking, flip-sunglass-wearing, girl-watching “Dwayne Wayne” on the hit NBC show A Different World alongside Lisa Bonet, Jasmine Guy and Debbie Allen. Most recently, he starred in Moonhaven for AMC, was a series regular on Teenage Bounty Hunters for Netflix and recurred on Black Monday for Showtime. In 2018, he starred in Love Is… for OWN. Additional credits include Disney Channel’s K.C. Undercover opposite Zendaya, Grown-ish, NBC’s Parenthood, The CW’s Supernatural and the CBS comedy 9JKL.

Hardison made his motion picture debut in Stan Lathan’s 1984 adaptation of James Baldwin’s classic Go Tell it on the Mountain and worked again with Lathan that same year in Beat Street. From there, he took several comedic supporting roles in films such as Spike Lee’s School Daze, Keenen Ivory Wayans’ Blaxploitation tribute I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, and Ron Shelton’s White Men Can’t Jump, among others.

He is represented by Global Artists Agency and Untitled Entertainment.

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