The Film That Lit My Fuse is a Deadline video series that aims to provide an antidote to headlines about industry uncertainty by swinging the conversation back to the creative ambitions, formative influences, and inspirations of some of today’s great screen artists.
Every installment asks the same five questions. Today’s subject is Winston Duke, whose latest film, Nine Days, has just opened on the independent circuit. The Edson Oda scripted and directed drama stars Duke as a reclusive man who conducts interviews with human souls hoping for a chance to be born. Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, Winston transplanted to New York at age 9, and from there he entered the business after earning an MFA degree from the Yale School of Drama. It would be fair to say he has exploded on the movie scene. That includes playing M’Baku, the adversary-turned-ally to T’Challa in Black Panther. He has played the role in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, and is right now shooting the Ryan Coogler-directed Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Duke also starred with Black Panther‘s Lupita Nyong’o in the Jordan Peele-directed horror hit Us, and played Hawk, the iconic sidekick from the Robert B. Parker mystery Spenser book series, alongside Mark Wahlberg in Spenser Confidential. That Netflix film that is expected to hatch a series. Duke will also give voice to the Caped Crusader in Batman Unburied, a Spotify podcast by The Dark Knight screenwriter David Goyer. Here, Duke discusses the influences that forged his artistic sensibilities and momentum.