Now meet your Favorite 'BAE' Crush of the Moment ‘Black Panther’ Star Winston Duke! 😽😍😽
Black Panther star Winston Duke is heating up the pages of ESQUIRE magazine with a spread the ladies (and some men) will certainly appreciate
Inside, the 6 foot 4inch actor, who played M'Baku - rebellious ruler of the Jabari tribe, opened up about how he became an actor and why he had very specific rules about the types of roles he would play.
Moving to Brooklyn from Trinidad and Tobago, he pursued his undergraduate degree in theater at University of Buffalo. He said growing up, he was used to seeing people of color in positions of power. However, when he moved to the United States, the media he consumed was very different.
“Any time I saw black people on TV or in film, they were victims,” Duke said. “Or they were purputrating some sort of crime and they were the villain, or they were only subservient [to the main characters].”
After undergrad, he enrolled at Yale for his MFA. That’s where he met his now co-star Lupita Nyong’o and they formed a friendship.
On his first day at Yale, he was given a tour of the university by another aspiring actor, Lupita Nyong’o (who later won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years a Slave and also appears alongside Duke in Black Panther). They became friends and soon joined a group at Yale called FOLKS (started by Black Panther co-star Angela Bassett during her time at the school), which gave black students an opportunity to meet and congregate.
“She and I became really close because we shared that immigrant experience,” he explained. “We shared the idea of having really big dreams knowing that we’d left our own country.”
While they were at Yale, the two went to see The Avengers together and dreamed of someday being a part of a film of that magnitude. Even then, however, Duke says the idea of a black Marvel superhero film felt distant. “We would always tell ourselves that they’re going to do it someday, but we could never tell who,” Duke said. “At that point there was already the Blade films, but we really didn’t know how Marvel would go about doing their first African superhero.”
Well your fantasy has become REALITY!
After Yale, Winston decided he would only accept roles with some sort of social justice footprint.
“Whether it’s a deeply commercial vehicle it should still be connected in some way to social justice,” he said. “It should still have some sort of effect showing diversity, and heroes and anti-heroes re-defining heroism and what it means to be a strong person.”
“There would always be scripts that came along that I turned down, like Gang Member #5—roles that were just stereotypes,” he continued. GOOD FOR HIM!
You can read his full interview here