Janet Jackson on Working With Tupac Shakur: ‘I Adored Him’

Aside from being a prolific rapper, Tupac Shakur was a talented actor and displayed his skills in several films before his tragic murder. Tupac shined alongside Janet Jackson in the film Poetic Justice. Of the experience, Jackson once recalled fond memories working with the late rapper. 

Janet Jackson in 'Poetic Justice'
Janet Jackson in ‘Poetic Justice’ | Anthony Barboza/Getty Images

Tupac Shakur and Janet Jackson worked together on ‘Poetic Justice’

Jackson and Tupac starred as love interests in the 1993 romantic drama Poetic Justice. Tupac played the role of Lucky, a post office worker with dreams of making it big in the music industry. Jackson starred as Justice, a hairstylist who is mourning the murder of her lover.

Both Lucky and Justice are determined to make it above their inner-city circumstances. Sparks fly between the two on a road trip from LA to Oakland. 

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Poetic Justice opened at No. 1 at the box office during its opening weekend. The film because a cult classic and is still played in rotation on cable television. Critics loved Jackson and Tupac’s performances and praised their on-screen chemistry.

Tupac Shakur accused Janet Jackson of changing her phone number

While the chemistry between the two was apparent on-screen, it apparently did not transition off-screen. Tupac admitted in an interview that he was smitten with Jackson and enjoyed the filming process. When filming came to a close, he accused the “Control” singer of changing her phone number.

“It bothered me, it probably wasn’t intentional, everybody changes their number…I really thought I made a friend, I thought it was, ‘I know Janet Jackson for life’ but as soon as the movie was over it was like ‘Boop, this number has been changed,’ Tupac joked. ‘It was like the day after the movie wrapped.”

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Related: Tupac Called Working on ‘Poetic Justice’ Therapeutic

Tupac also alleged that Jackson’s team demanded he take an AIDS test for a love scene in the film. Singleton later claimed the AIDS test debacle was created to drum up press for the film.

Janet Jackson says she adored Tupac Shakur and has fond memories of their time filming

Despite Tupac’s recollection of Jackson changing her number, Jackson has nothing but fond memories of working with and spending time with the rapper. In a 2018 interview with 92.3 in LA, Jackson recalls experiencing the playful side of Tupac on set.

“Pac was crazy and I adored him so and he was one way – I think people saw him and not to say that that wasn’t him, but he also had another side to him – he was fun and silly and he used to call me square all the time,” Jackson laughed.

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Per Jackson, Tupac referred to her as a square because of her shyness and quiet personality. Jackson also joked that she didn’t take part in any of the ruckuses as some of her co-stars and remembers many times Tupac was late to set.

“We were waiting patiently and he’s back at his hotel and he’d say, ‘The longer you knock, the longer I’m going to sit in this bed,’” Jackson said.

Another memory Jackson shared was being one of the first Tupac showed his infamous “THUG LIFE” stomach tattoo. Jackson revealed Tupac got the ink over a weekend and returned to set excited to show her. She said Tupac was proud of the artwork and that it was the most significant tattoo he had.