Def Jam Records co-founder Russell Simmons first branched out into movies when he acted and co-produced in the 1985 rap movie Krush Groove. Essentially a glorified biography of his own life, with Blair Underwood assuming the role of Simmons, the movie didn't score well with critics but was a box-office success. Another hip-hop based movie followed, 1988's Tougher Than Leather, before Simmons assumed full control of Def Jam when co-founder Rick Rubin left. Almost immediately he set up Rush Communications, dipping his hand in nearly everything from a clothing line, to television comedy, to magazine production. At this time Simmons also began producing movies. Pictures he's backed creatively and/or financially include The Addiction, The Nutty Professor and Gridlock'd.