Andrew Lowery of Placentia hopes that a new, recurring role he begins playing tonight on the NBC comedy series "A Different World" will bring fun, fortune and a chance to beat fellow cast member Kadeem Hardison in one-on-one basketball.
"Kadeem is a nice guy and a good performer," says Lowery. "But he plays truly mean hoop."
Lowery will play Matthew, a cousin of free-spirited Freddie (Cree Williams). Matthew "is a lot like me," he says. "Kind of goofy. Since Cree and I have the same sense of humor, we don't really have to prepare anything. We just kind of take off on each other."
He says he landed the role on "A Different World" after "one of the simplest auditions I've ever done: The casting director knew me from another show she'd done, and when she called me in to talk about this role, she just said, 'This is you.' Then the producers and (director) Debbie Allen looked at me and that was it.
"From the first day (on the set), the cast kind of fell into chemistry. It's a very busy, noisy show (so) I fit right in. And they laugh at my stupid jokes."
Although Lowery, who is in his early 20s, has numerous television appearances to his credit, including a prominent role in the Emmy-nominated miniseries "Family of Spies," "A Different World" will provide him with his first regular paychecks as an actor.
He has signed a five-year contract and will be seen in seven episodes this season.
"A Different World" airs tonight at 8:30 p.m. on NBC.