Five Things You Didn’t Know about Winston Duke

Winston Duke is someone who has seen a huge boost in name recognition. After all, he played the role of M’Baku on Black Panther, who is one of the movie’s breakout characters. As a result, it seems probable that Duke will be appearing in even more projects in the not so distant future, which should come as welcome news to those who were impressed with his performance in Black Panther. Here are five things that you may or may not have known about Winston Duke:

He Comes From Tobago

When he was still a child, Duke lived on Tobago, which is an autonomous island that can be found in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. There, Duke learned to charm people by showing patrons to their tables at his mother’s restaurant, which attracted a fair number of tourists on a regular basis. In time, Duke’s mother made the choice to move to the United States for the purpose of supporting his sister’s ambition of becoming a doctor, which is how Duke came to live in Brooklyn.

He Studied At Yale

It is interesting to note that Duke studied at Yale’s School of Drama. At the time, he became friends with an upperclassman named Lupita Nyong’o, whose name should be well-known to a lot of people out there because of her Oscar win. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that Duke was a member of an acting club for Yale students of color, which had been co-founded by Angela Bassett, who was one of the other actresses who appeared in Black Panther as well.

He Played a Supervillain in Black Panther

Duke didn’t exactly get up to a lot of supervillain shenanigans in Black Panther, but it should be mentioned that his character M’Baku is indeed a supervillain in the Black Panther comic books. As a result, it is not unreasonable to suspect that M’Baku might become the antagonist in a future follow-up, but since Black Panther has made the choice to focus on the character’s loyalty to his tribe rather than the character’s hostility towards T’Challa, the result promises to be more complicated and more interesting than what most people would expect from a superhero movie.

He Imitated a Nigerian Accent For His Role

One of the ways that Duke prepared for his role was studying accents. To be exact, he studied Nigerian accents, which served to distinguish his character from T’Challa, who was more influenced by South African accents. This was important for making it clear that M’Baku was not part of the same tribe as T’Challa, thus providing important context to the viewers.

He Made an Interesting Observation About the Setting of Black Panther

M’Baku should be better-known to comic book fans as Man-Ape, meaning that it is fortunate that Black Panther has chosen to use his name rather than his supervillain name. With that said, Duke didn’t hesitate to embrace the ape associations of his character’s culture for his character because as he sees it, the Wakandans would not see the unfortunate implications because they were never affected by colonialism as well as its narratives. In fact, Duke was the one who came up with the idea for the Jabari to grunt at outsiders speaking up without permission, which is something that gorillas will do for the purpose of telling others to back off.

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