Tag Archives: Elias

Winston Duke Interview – His Life, His Career And His Time on Person Of Interest

head shotFrom the tranquil shores of an island paradise running along the beach, fishing and exploring along its beautiful shores, to the bustling, fast-paced, harsh life in big New York City, Winston Duke has made the best of his humble beginnings and is now making his presence known in the entertainment industry.

The Caribbean born actor hails from Argyle Village Tobago where he, his mother and elder sister lived in a small family community where everyone knows everyone. “It was very charming. I had a lot of freedom and adventure when I was a child growing up in Tobago. I had a community of people always around me, enriching my life with love and drama. From the stories people would tell to the real life situations that would happen….” But that’s not all he took away from his childhood years.

Even in paradise, work was always a part of his reality. “…there was always work to do. I saw my mother and community work hard every day, from dawn to dusk….So the spirit of hard work has, as a result, always stayed with me.” That spirit has paid off for Duke as through his years of hard work and training, he has begun to realize his dream.

He was just nine years old when his mother, then a restaurant owner, moved him and his elder sister to New York in search of better educational opportunities. They stayed first with a family friend where they had to sleep on the floor for several months until they moved to a studio apartment in Brooklyn New York. They decorated it with a couch and TV they found by the side of the road and used a rug that they bought from an antique store.

Though his mother and sister sheltered him from the stress of those earlier days, the move was hard on Duke. He was shy in high school prompting his Spanish teacher at Brighton High School in Rochester, NY to suggest he try out for school plays to boost his confidence. And it was all uphill from there. Duke proved to be a natural at acting. He went on to achieve a Bachelor of Arts in theater performance “and “media study” from the University of Buffalo and a Masters of Fine Arts from Yale School of Drama. And, in case you’re wondering, his sister achieved her dream as well. She became a Physician Scientist who trained at Johns Hopkins Hospital and then Yale. Both he and his sister  have made his mother very proud.

Within a short time after graduation from Yale, Duke made his television debut on the highly acclaimed LAW & ORDER SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT series as Cedric Jones, a college student subjected to hazing and sexual abuse, which turned out to be an amazing experience for Duke.4x08_Dominic

He followed that by landing the recurring role of Dominic on the equally prestigious series PERSON OF INTEREST where many viewers are first becoming aware of his talent and acting potential as the following comments can attest to.

“I was amazed when I saw he hadn’t acted much, and I’m really excited to see where he goes from here.  Hopefully some awards, very soon.”

“Winston is fantastic as Dominic….. I think Winston Duke has a bright future ahead of him.”

“Winston Duke is an excellent choice for the part. I’m amazed at how little TV acting experience he has under his belt and I look forward to watching him in other roles.”

“Totally an amazing actor yet he’s been in pretty much NOTHING! Love his role as Dominic…he has a bright future ahead in acting if he chooses to do so…”

Oh, he definitely chooses to do so! He has displayed a passion and ambition for acting that comes along rarely in the profession, and though still early in his career, he has shown the ability to immerse himself into whatever character he is playing. He credits much of his acting ability to his life in Argyle. “I would like to think that some of the most influential years of my life, which helped to shape the man that I am today, are my memories of running up and down the beach of Argyle Village, Tobago and playing with my cousins and friends and seeing both the beauty and hardship of people living in a developing nation.”

pretendersHis character, Dominic, is the current bad guy on PERSON OF INTEREST and while many would describe Dominic as a ruthless, cold, highly intelligent and an extremely charismatic sociopath, Duke has a different perception of the character which he discusses in the interview. He also tells us more about his early life, theatrical experience, some of his experiences on the set of PERSON OF INTEREST and his plans for the future.

Many thanks again to Winston for taking the time from his busy schedule to talk with me. It was a memorable experience for sure. He is a talented actor with a huge future ahead of him. He is also a genuinely honest and sincere person and once you meet him, I doubt you will forget him anytime soon. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I enjoyed talking to Winston.

As for Dominic, Elias will always have a spot in my heart; there is just too much history there to want to lose it. But I hope Dominic stays around for a long time. I think New York City is big enough for both Team Elias and Team Dominic as long as Team Machine is around to referee. 🙂
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Actually I was quite surprised when I read that you were born in the Caribbean because you don’t have that accent at all. That must’ve taken some work to change your speech pattern.

Yes it did. . In addition to moving to the US while still young, I also went through three years of speech, dialect and voice coaching at Yale School of Drama. So when you get out you’re pretty well versed in either turning it on or turning it off. I love doing dialect work myself. So I definitely work on a bit of a slight urban dialect to bring it more to myself.

Well you sound like a native New York mobster on PERSON OF INTEREST for sure. I would never have thought you were born outside of the states.Winston-Duke-ficha-por-Person-of-Interest

Yeah. Actually, at times when I’m with my family, my true accent comes out very thick.

So what was it like living in Tobago? I saw some of the pictures and it was just beautiful.

Oh, it’s gorgeous, really gorgeous. I grew up in Argyle, Tobago which is part of the twin island country that is Trinidad & Tobago and we were pretty much on the beach. Our house was probably 10 feet away from the ocean. So as a child just running on the beach, playing it was paradise. We had a very large extended family there so it was always a beautiful community. It really brings to mind the saying ‘it takes a village’ ’cause it was a village. It was actually called Argyle village.

So I just grew up knowing all these people and all these beautiful stories about my community and exploring. Every single day it was an exploration because I could go and visit this person, or visit that person, and everyone was almost your caretaker, because they knew you, they knew your family. So I could go to my cousin’s house or go to a friend’s house and everyone was responsible for you. And going to visit the Argyle waterfall as a child was common. As groups of children, we would just go up and explore a little bit by the waterfall. You couldn’t go too far in because there are some dangerous parts. But we would explore the waterfall. And there were wonderful things to do. It was an idyllic   paradise.

Your family moved to the US when you were just nine. Was the move difficult for you, for your family? Was everything prepared for your move in advance and was there a special reason you came to the states?

tumblr_nfb2k4re3V1qb658io1_400No I would say it was different. You could say it was difficult not having so similar a support system as Argyle. You know there is that typical immigrant experience of coming here and having to learn a new system. Not really a new language because English is the national language of Trinidad and Tobago but there is a language usage in the US which you need to acclimate to so learning that language usage, in that sense, was difficult and new and challenging. We created a new community of friends who were here and willing to give help and advice. So not a lot was set up before we came here but we made do. My mother had some friends abroad and distant relatives who lived abroad, but not easy access to close family. She didn’t have a lot of family that she knew. We came here in search of higher educational opportunities for my sister. She wanted to be a doctor.

WOW! That’s nice. I hope she made it.

She did! My sister is a really beautiful story. She is now an obstetrician-gynecologist specializing in reproductive endocrinology and infertility which she learned at Johns Hopkins Hospital and then Yale. Yeah, we came to do that schooling and it’s worked out wonderfully. So now my mother has two children who have been trained in the Yale educational system..

That’s quite a success story.

Yeah, my mother is proud. ‘Fruits of her labor,’ so to speak.

So speaking of education, you started acting at the University of Buffalo, continued at Yale Drama School and graduated with a Masters of Fine Arts. You must have had an interest in acting at a much earlier age to select that course work. When did you realize you wanted to be an actor? What was the reason you decided to go into that profession?

I developed an interest in acting in middle school. Not being from the United States, I spent a lot of time reading, and a lot of time watching television to learn the culture and language usage. So I really fell in love with storytelling at a young age. I used to watch, for instance, FRASIER. That was my favorite TV show. At the time, I had no way to articulate why I loved FRASIER and these sitcoms so much. Now I can look back and say it was grammar, pace and timing, and the character building which was so strong that it lent to every situation they put Frasier in. And the ensemble was so strong. Thinking back, I probably didn’t love the story in so much as, I just loved that it was funny, it was a hit and it was beautiful.

I grew up also reading a lot of comic books. There was a store in our Brooklyn neighborhood that sold comic books.  So I developed a love for storytelling really early in middle school. Specific to acting, when I got into high school after we moved to Upstate New York, I was a bit introverted which isn’t uncommon for immigrant children.  I mean it’s a typical immigrant story in the sense that at school and in public you tend to be a little bit more introverted. brootherhood 2My high school Spanish teacher noticed this and suggested that I do theater to kind of find my voice and to come out of my shell, I would say. And as you can tell, I loved it!  I really loved it!

I did what was called a 24-hour Play in high school. That was the first thing I did. It is where we all show up at the end of a day, around 6 PM, and there is a group of writers, group of actors, and group of directors who are all high school students there at Brighton. We then spent the 24 hour period making and putting on a show. We started by we would taking Polaroid pictures for head shots and then threw them in a hat from which each writer and director would randomly select a group of actors and then they spent that night writing a play. The next morning at 6 AM, the actors would come in, memorize the lines, worked on them, and 6 PM that day they performed them for an audience.

Really!

Yeah that was my first foray I would say into acting in high school and I was scared out of my mind to get on that stage and then boom, I loved it…loved every second of it. It is really very, very meaningful, that story, to me. It was just the right thing and then in college I majored in theater performance and “media study” and it just kept growing.

Nice story! I notice after college you didn’t seem to do much theater. You seemed to go right into TV. You obviously loved the theater so was there any particular reason why you didn’t stay on stage longer?

No. Actually I would say that Theater is my home and where I feel very comfortable. I spent four years in college and three years in graduate school doing theater and that’s where I learned a lot. For instance, when I first came out of school, my first professional job was a play in Portland Maine at Portland Stage Company; one of August Wilson’s most famous and acclaimed plays MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM and that was an amazing experience. I then followed that with a performance at Yale Repertory Theater doing ACCIDENTAL DEATH OF AN ANARCHIST. I love stage. It means a lot to me but I believe that these media blend and complement each other. So, for me, the things that I’ve learned in stage, I’ve just been able to apply them in a different way for television and film. I have a great opportunity at the moment to explore that and I hope the things that I’m learning in television can help me with any of my future work on stage. I believe they lend themselves to each other beautifully.

7e2190a9c18d4b3acb7e1c9e692fb56bInteresting perception. I know some actors I have interviewed have said that it’s quite different between theater and screen. The fact that you feel comfortable doing both interchangeable is advantageous.

I want a career of diversity and longevity. So I would love to go back and forth doing theater, television and film. There are differences, but the major common denominator is truth. What is the truth of this situation? What is the truth of this human being, of this character, of this life? No matter how surreal or hyper realistic the world is. I mean,  I could play a comic book character that lives on Mars but there’s still this ‘human being’ in terms of emotion that appears alive. There’s a common denominator of truth to life; not just human beings but to life. I am of the opinion that everything loves being alive or wants to be alive in some way. So there’s always a common denominator of truth. Once you can tap into it and flush it out, I would say it works in all media whether its stage, film, television or radio plays.

L&OSo your first role was as Cedric Jones in LAW & ORDER SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT. Did you enjoy that?

Oh loved it. So first of all I would like to say working and being a part of the LAW & ORDER institution…..

(Laughs) Yeah, it is an institution it’s it! Never thought of it quite like that.

LAW & ORDER is an institution at this point. It has been around forever. It is continuing to pump out amazing, poignant, relevant stories. And everything is current. They pull things right out of the news. That’s the wonderful thing about LAW & ORDER. So if it’s something that’s happening currently, it will influence the story. You’ll be a part of that, where the stories come from. So there is a very socially aware and socially impactful aspect of LAW & ORDER that’s very beautiful and necessary. So it was truly an honor to be a part of that, the LAW & ORDER institution. And it’s a well-oiled machine, I tell you. They know what they want. They are very quick to illustrate their story and why they’re telling it. So everyone is on the same page always. Everything is clear. They also treat guest stars like everyone is a prince; from the regular actors, right down to the guest stars, right down to the one-liners. Everyone gets treated with a lot of respect. It was an amazing experience.

It’s good that it was so memorable for you. After that you landed the role of Dominic on PERSON OF INTEREST and that had to be a thrill also.the devil you know

Well that’s a huge blessing! I can’t say anything less about it. It’s amazing having these first recurring opportunities for people to get a chance to see what I’ve been working towards for a long time. I’ve been working and training and just watching life to be able to do this kind of work. And it’s a blessing but not guaranteed in anyway. So I’m very privileged I would say to be able to get these opportunities.

I have read a lot of viewer comments, particularly when you debuted in “Brotherhood” that expressed surprise at how talented you were with so little experience in your background. Myself included. It really appeared that you had been around for years. It was obvious you had excellent training and just as obvious you love what you do.

Thank you.

You’re very welcome. When “Brotherhood” first aired, did you watch it on TV? Did you like the way the episode turned out? Were you excited to see Dominic for the first time?

To tell you the truth, I watched it at home with my two biggest fans and my most trusted circle of support which is my mother and sister. I was nervously biting my fingernails wondering what it would look like. (Laughs) And I was just, I guess, you know great. I was surprised. You know it’s one thing to do it and you do your best. You put your best work out there and you expose yourself. Acting like any other art or any other thing you create and you let go into the world. You make it, you release it, and then you leave it. And that’s what I did. So I did the work. I went on set, we shot it, and then released it. And watching it at home, it felt brand-new. I didn’t recognize myself. I was shocked at everything I saw. I even fell for the twist. (Laughs).

(Laughs). That was a big twist in the storyline. I was going to ask if you knew that was coming.

After we shot it, yes. I knew. But when I was watching it at home, I didn’t see it coming. I completely forgot because I got so enrapt in the story. PERSON OF INTEREST does that to you. It sucks you right in so every moment is new, every moment is surprising. They love misdirection, and I fell for it hook, line and sinker even though I shot it! So that was my experience. I was completely shocked and it was very surreal watching. Every time I see myself on screen, I’m blown away. Not because of my work, but rather I’m just blown away to realize that every moment I’m on camera, I am actually realizing my dream; a dream that I have worked towards. Every single time I see myself, I realize it’s a working dream and that I’ve been very blessed.

Were you familiar with the series before you audition for the part?

broither1To be really honest with you, no. I knew that there was a series called PERSON OF INTEREST, but I wasn’t very familiar with the show. I came on this season and the three years prior to that, I was in school  doing 18 hour days acting, working on learning the nuances of the crafts and how to factor that in at every turn. So, I was not very familiar. My interpretation of Dominic was very raw when I came in for audition. It came from myself. That is to say from my imagination of who this man was and my idea of his world. I’m really thankful that they saw my interpretation and believed in it. But after I got the role, I watched every single episode of PERSON OF INTEREST almost religiously. By the time that I shot my first scene, I had watched almost every single episode.

That’s a good way getting ready for the part; learning about the current characters and what the PERSON OF INTEREST universe is like before you come on board.

Yes. I wanted to familiarize myself with the show esthetic. I needed to understand the rhythm of the show and what the other characters were like. It’s the diagetic world that I needed to understand. So I really invested in that. And the writers really facilitated that as well. They were open to conversation. You know, behind the scenes, it’s a very collaborative thing. The writers speak to the actors on set all the time. . If you (the actor) have a question, you can ask them. In addition, all the directors are very helpful. Everyone shared, down to the crew. The cameraman will always prompt you and say this is the ‘right’ shot that we’re doing right now. So you’re never in the dark. You’re not figuring things out by yourself. You’re really a part of a team. In summary, one of my favorite aspects of PERSON OF INTEREST is how collaborative it is.

One of my favorite aspects of the series is the casting department. They are very perceptive in their choice of actors/actresses for the characters the writers create.

They are fantastic. Big thanks to them for seeing Dominic in me. .

So how did you find out about the role?

Again, another group of people who saw potential in me were my agents. So they sent me in for this and I just gave it my all. It just came at the right time as well. The stars aligned, I guess you could say.

imageedit_4_7912633180Was the audition simple for you or was it more difficult? Did you have a chance to practice the lines before you had to give the reading?

It wasn’t a cold reading. I was given a couple days to prepare the scene. I didn’t go in thinking I had this or that this was my role or anything. I just wanted to have fun. I saw an interesting character and I just focused and hoped for the best. I actually left the audition thinking it would be nice to get this but I don’t really know if I got it or not.

Were there a lot of other people auditioning as well?

Oh yes, yes, there were a lot of other people auditioning with me. I saw a lot of other really talented actors there. And outside of the room, you hear them practicing their lines. I just had confidence in myself that I could go in there and do something that was truly mine and that my interpretation of the character was honest. And that I could bring a little life into the words that they wrote. And I was very happy about that.

So let’s talk about Dominic. Dominic has been labeled a super-villain for the season. He has been written as emotionless, cold, unfeeling yet highly intelligent, and very charismatic. Do you enjoy playing that type of role? Do you enjoy playing him?POI_0404_Dom

I do. I enjoy it thoroughly. I really enjoy the Dominic super-villain. That is an interesting word, super-villain. Maybe he is misunderstood. (Laughs)

For me, Dominic is a self-made man. He is the American dream albeit perverted by crime. I think Dominic is a man who is very ambitious. I would say he is very hungry and bends his world and his surroundings to fit him. It just so manifests through crime, intimidation and violence which he uses to accomplishes his dreams,  but it’s the underlying drive is a lot more universal than we think. When you have a dream, you want something more. I would say everyone wants something more out of life, but it’s just what are they willing to do for it? He’s just willing to do different things to accomplish his goals. And I guess that’s what makes him villainous. But the original theme is very universal about him.

What appeals to you about the character?

What appeals to me are those aspects where we are similar, which is that I also want more out of life. I am very hungry to make myself something more than I am at the moment.  I don’t want to seem ‘weak’ and I, to some degree, would like to bend my world to fit my ideas, hopes and wishes. It just will not manifest that I would kill someone or engage in criminal enterprise to do this. That’s where we differ most! But otherwise, I would say that’s where I connect with him the most. Those are my favorite parts..imageedit_2_9034466091

And it always surprises me what he would do and how he accomplishes or works around the obstacles put in his way. Because he’s met with obstacles all season. And that’s one thing I talked about. They are just messing up his plans. Like he has had so many plans and no one would get hurt if they just followed his plans. He doesn’t like failure but he sets out very clear, strategic plans. If you look back at the episodes, he had everything set up and either Team Machine or Elias came and they messed it up. Or one of his guys failed at doing their job after he gives them clear and specific instructions and they can’t achieve it. There is no room for that. He’s definitely a manager. He’s a big time manager.

That is definitely Dominic for sure. (Laughs) Unfortunately his severance package leaves a lot to be desired, right? You basically do what he wants or you’re dead. Period.

(Laughs) Yeah, Yeah. His termination package is just a little different. There is no severance pay when it comes to Dominic. (Laughs) I guess I find a lot about Dominic to be more universal than people may see which is what makes him more of a human being to me. When I think of Dominic as a super-villain it starts clouding my ideas. I start thinking capes and such.

vufwmqmqhsuc79msy8yz(Laughs) The ‘super-villain’ label came about from the superhero persona the show indulges in by having characters do some superhuman feats occasionally, which fans love I have to say. Reese is a good example of that though he isn’t the only one, and that isn’t all there is to the character. But when you have ‘superheroes,’ by contrast you have to have ‘super-villains,’ and currently Dominic fits that role.

True, true ,very true. But I also love how they include a ‘down to earth’ quality to all of them. Reese doesn’t try to be a superhero; he’s just a man who wants to protect people. He wants to save people around him. He wants to do good things.

Exactly. He’s very good at what he does which is why fans love him.

He has specific skill set that allows him to do that. And Dominic is the same way. He has a specific skill set that allows him to get around people; to get what he wants.

Speaking of other characters, how do you like working opposite veteran actors like Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson. And you’ve worked very closely with Enrico Colantoni. How do you feel working opposite them? I’m guessing you are learning a lot from them.

I would say it’s an incredible honor to get to work with the likes of Enrico Colantoni and Jim Caviezel. So far I haven’t been in any scenes with Michael Emerson, but I actually stay on set and watch him work. I am the guy who, after I wrap, I will go and sit with the director and watch people shoot or I’ll take notes. I think of myself as this perennial student; a life time learner. So I look at this as post graduate studies. Every day I go to work and learn what I can.

And you couldn’t pick a better person to watch than Emmy winner Michael Emerson.

Yes! And Enrico Colantoni as well. He is also a Yale School of Drama alumnus. So working with him and watching his depth of work is also an honor and a continuing educational opportunity to see where I could potentially end up.duke&ellia2

Things you can never learn in a classroom.

It’s truly continuing education! This is actually my fieldwork until I am Winston Duke. (Laughs) I’m learning and I’m learning every single day which is kind of what you do as an artist. You go out into the world, and you learn. You never stop learning. And I think the day I say I’ve learned enough is when I’ll have to reassess what I’m doing. But I’ve learned a lot so far too. And they are very giving of their time, all of them. They will sit and talk with you when they can.

You’ve talked about how comfortable it is to work on the POI set, but maybe you have some special moments you’ve experienced on the PERSON OF INTEREST set that you can share?

Oh, special moments, I have so many. One in particular was meeting Enrico Colantoni and realizing we both went to Yale and that we know a lot of the same people. We talked for a long time after I wrapped. We made plans, after I told him that I had never seen an ice hockey game, to go and watch an NHL ice hockey game when we get a chance in New York. We’ve both been on the run so much, working, so we haven’t had a chance yet, but we are going to go. (Laughs) I’ve never seen one and I’m into sports, but some sports I don’t get, and ice hockey is one. He said I shouldn’t knock it till I try it. He is Canadian so he loves ice hockey. It’s his favorite sport so I can’t wait for that.

Well, coming from the Caribbean you wouldn’t know much about it.

It’s not one of my things. I’m 6’5 so I have a very high center of gravity. Ice sports are not my thing.

Just out of curiosity, are you the tallest on the set?

I am. I’m tall but I look taller on the screen.

Well they have you paired with people, females in particular, which are pretty short so that makes you seem very tall.

I’m the same height as a Dwayne Johnson, the Rock. He is my height, so is Ben Affleck. He’s 6’5. So I am not like absurdly tall. I just look taller with the pairing as you said. Dominic also is a large man. He has a very large presence in a room. You can’t not notice Dominic, which is why he is also so dangerous. You don’t just meet Dominic. It took a long time for people to meet Dominic.

He’s definitely a shrewd character. So, in “The Devil You Know” Dominic killed Scarface, Elias’ lieutenant and life-long friend. Now Elias has vowed to avenge his friend’s death, so a showdown between the two is supposed to happen in a future episode(s). Are you looking forward to playing those scenes?devil3

I am! It’ll be fun. You know it’s going to be magic when the writers have Elias and Dominic in the same scene. It’s always fire when they are together. You could say fire and ice at times. It’s always going to be very interesting and dramatic. So I’m very excited to play it. I would imagine that the fans have a lot to look forward to.

In the final showdown, of course you favor Dominic, but given the mythology of the series who to you think should win Elias or Dominic?

Of course I favor Dominic, but I can’t really say much. My hope is that whatever happens I want your minds to be blown which, is all that I have wanted in all my episodes this season and I think the writers have that vision. PERSON OF INTEREST is great about thinking about their viewers and fans always. They always put a lot of thought into every episode, it is never anything simple. Recently I had the pleasure of tweeting from the writer’s room. I live tweeted and I got to enter the PERSON OF INTEREST brain. I got to see just how much thought goes into just one episode. It makes me go back to knowing that I always have to do my best because they are always doing their best. They are always leading with their best foot, putting a lot of thought, a lot of effort into what they are creating. It’s a huge team effort, everything is thought through, and everyone is trying to make their best work. That’s something very special.

behind the cameraYou been in five episodes now. Do you like the way the character is evolving? Your character killed Scarface which is turning into a big pivotal point in the story line. Did you expect your character to do anything like that in the show?

I didn’t expect anything. And you never know what to expect from PERSON OF INTEREST, but I did not expect that to happen. But I do love how he has evolved. I like that they are giving him so much complexity, power and strength. I think that is another sample of how PERSON OF INTEREST is so progressive. First strong, self-realized powerful female characters, then minority characters, ethnic characters with diversity in strength and ability. I think that’s very wonderful in PERSON OF INTEREST. It’s a very strong position to take on television and that’s to their credit. I feel so honored to be a part of a show like this.

In one of the episode this season, Elias’ number came up. Reese of course was right in there, doing what he could to save Elias. You seem to have a very good understanding of Dominic’s character, so what do you think would happen if Dominic’s number was sent to Reese and Finch? Would Dominic accept Reese’s help?

I don’t know! I really don’t know! I think it would depend on the day. Dominic juggles a lot of different things so I think probably, depending on what else is going on in Dominic’s world. Dominic is such a dynamic character and has multiple things going at once, so it would be interesting. I can’t really say anything else or speculate anything else. It would be interesting and fun to watch whatever else happens.

tumblr_nkbaenRkzR1tu7uf4o1_250tumblr_nkbaenRkzR1tu7uf4o2_250In “Blunt” you had a face-to-face with Reese, your first of many I’m sure. Fans were looking forward to it. Did you enjoy playing that scene? Did you like the way it turned out?

Yes I loved it. I thought it was a great scene. I thought it served a great function. That they finally met because Reese is a large figure in Dominic’s world as well. And Dominic’s goal was just to meet him and let him know that he is a threat and that he knows more about Reese than he realizes. At least, that was my interpretation of the scene. To say to Reese, that I am aware of you, and I see you. We both hide in plain sight and as a result I see you. I am able to really see you. You are no police officer. I think that was what was going through my person. That Dominic sees him for who he is. It’s a very powerful position to take in life. And that would be my hubris scene (Laughs)

Also that scene meant a lot to me because I finally got to go face-to-face as an actor with Jim Caviezel, which was a big deal for me!

It was a good scene and a lot of fans liked it as well. Earlier I mentioned that many fans were very impressed with your acting ability with so little actual TV experience behind you. Did you expect to move ahead so fast? Did it surprise you as well, or did it seem normal for you?

So was it a surprise? Yes but I’ve been working towards being able to take full advantage of opportunities like this when they do come. I’m just very happy that casting was able to see that, and the producers and the network were all able to see what I could bring to both the character and to PERSON OF INTEREST franchise.

Obviously they did see there was a lot of potential there, and it comes across very well on the screen.

Thank you.Blunt1

You are at the beginning of your career. So where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

In 10 years! Wow, that a big question. This is a career path where nothing is guaranteed, but I would say in 10 years, I would hope that I would be well on my way along the path to longevity in what is my chosen profession. I would like to have more film opportunities, while balancing it with stage, new media, and more television work.  I would hope to be actively building a body of work that shows my dedication and continued perseverance at this craft.

Maybe a series of your own somewhere down the road?

I would love to have a series of my own. (Laughs) I would love that!

So, you have a lot of fans on the show. Anything special you want to say to them?

I just want to say thank you for accepting me wholeheartedly. By no means has that gone unnoticed. It means a lot to me that I am so well received and accepted by them. I will continue to strive for excellence in the stories that they love, that mean a lot to them and to me.

And down the road there is a lot of good stuff brewing between Dominic and Elias that we don’t want to miss a minute of, right? A lot of twists and turns and everything we would expect from the series, right?

Yes. A lot of good things. Don’t miss a minute of it and stay tuned. With PERSON OF INTEREST, no matter what you’re going to be satisfied with the entire ride. So BUCKLE UP!

Great! Well I personally hope that both Dominic and Elias survive into season five because their conflicts, and how they impact Team Machine are fun to watch.

They are truly dynamic characters and very fun to watch.

Besides Dominic, what is in your future? I read you will be appearing in three episodes of the new CW drama THE MESSENGERS which will air in April. Can you tell us something about it?messemgers

The shows premise is that a strange object falls from outer space and creates an energy wave that changes the lives of a group of people to try to stop the impending apocalypse. And that show is going to be a very fun wild ride as well. The cast is amazing. By the way, it’s the second show where I get to act opposite an actor who played Jesus. (Laughs)

(Laughs) Funny!

Yeah I notice things like that. Jim Caviezel played Jesus in THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, and Diogo Morgado, who is starring in the MESSENGERS, played Jesus in THE BIBLE miniseries on the History Channel. So it’s the second time I’m meeting with Jesus, which I think is quite the hilarious happenstance for that to be a reoccurring motif in my young career. I think people will be very interested in the series as well. It has a very strong cast, a great ensemble and it’s going to be fun. So stay tuned for that.

Nothing more I can divulge at the moment just stay tuned for more on the Winston Duke story in the future.

I understand you’re interested in certain charities from your home island of Tobago. Can you tell us about them?

Yes. I am working with the Tobago News Children’s Fund. And I’m working with them and my sister to develop outreach programs for local children to get more involved in the arts thereby make them more aware of career opportunities in the arts. I just want to tell them (and their parents) that there are career paths in the arts, if they just pursue them. So I’m currently creating these programs with the Tobago News Children’s Fund. My passion is just to give back to my direct community because I came from the island of Tobago which of course is a part of Trinidad. So I first wanted to do something that directly impacts my island in particular and then would also branch out to help other people that are a part of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean in the long run.

Nice that you want to give back to your community and it sounds like a very worthwhile endeavor. Well, I’ve taken up enough of your time. Thanks you so much for the interview. I’m so glad we finally got together on this.

I’m glad it worked out as well. Thank you so much and it means a lot to me as well. Hopefully we can talk again down the road.
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So ended a very good time. I hope I get to talk to him again too.  So you don’t miss it, The MESSENGERS is set to air on Fridays at 9 PM beginning April 10.

You can follow Winston on his Twitter, and Facebook accounts and his personal website by clicking the links below.

Winston Duke Website
Winston Duke Facebook
Winston Duke Twitter
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PERSON OF INTEREST Episodes for Dominic.
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Animated GIFs courtesy of: The Ghost In The Machine  Eyesofwitt

Artwork courtesy of  POI Team Europe

poi team europe