Leave it to Soul Plane of all things to help actor Dwayne Adway break a personal stereotype. Sounds ironic, but for Adway, one of Hollywood's rising stars, that disaster of a movie actually signaled a sharp turn in his career. Back up to his college days at Florida A&M University, where the 6-foot-4 Adway had hoop dreams until he suffered a knee injury. Shortly thereafter, while taking a grad-school acting class at Georgia State University, Adway discovered his true calling. "It was a fluke," the Saginaw, Michigan, native says. "I figured, Let me give it a shot. If it doesn't work out, I can fall back on my degrees."

Adway did some local gigs in Atlanta before relocating to California in 1993 and elbowing his way onto various sitcoms and made-for-TV movies. "I took my basketball skills and parlayed [them] into acting roles," he says. Unfortunately, Adway quickly found himself pigeonholed, especially after his first starring role in 1998's Bad As I Wanna Be: The Dennis Rodman Story, which aired on ABC. "The basketball part was easy; the challenge was being able to play a real-life character," Adway recalls.