Disclosure: Disney Pictures provided me with the opportunity to attend the round table press day with Winston Duke.
Last week, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Winston Duke, who plays M’Baku in Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. Very nice and incredibly humble, Winston shared a little bit about himself and about the filming process for both Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War. Read on to find out more!
When asked about the filming process on Avengers: Infinity War, compared to Black Panther, Winston responded that while working on Black Panther they created a family, it became a labor of love, and they were building their own world. Going into Avengers, it’s already built with all the years of films and the character franchises, but what was refreshing was that they welcomed you into it, and saying, “Not only are you welcomed here, there’s a space for you.”
And that’s the perfect segue for this featurette from the Avengers set:
Now back to our interview:
Specifically regarding his character, Winston said that the process in preparing for Avengers was easier because he was already invested in a lot of M’Baku’s personality, he was just in a new circumstance. It was difficult as well because he doesn’t know the whole story, but he trusts that he’s a part of a really great franchise that’s been tried and tested.
When asked if there are any M’Baku’s characteristics he’d like to have, he stated that he’d like to step into more of a place of leadership in his life. M’Baku is unapologetically himself, and his brazenness makes him fun to play. He wouldn’t necessarily bark at people, as his character did, but he would like to live more freely in his power.
Winston, who is from Tobago, shared how his uncle and his wife hadn’t been to the movies at all, and the entire village went to the theatre when Black Panther came out. His uncle jumped up in the theatre shouting, “That’s my nephew!”, and the audience cheered whenever he was onscreen. It is so evident that he is humbled by not only his family’s but his community’s pride in his work. His work is affecting change, and he is so proud of how it reaches diverse audiences.
I, of course, tried to see if we could get any information on what happens after Infinity War by asking if we might get to see more of M’Baku and the other characters introduced during the later part of the current phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He said he didn’t know, and made a joke about just waiting for a call as he did for Avengers.
As Winston said early on in our interview, with eighteen films spanning ten years of storytelling, we are all invested in how all these characters and situations have been weaved together to tell the story of something even larger. It’s very exciting, and I can’t wait to see how this part of the story ends when Avenger: Infinity War hits theatres this Friday, April 27th!
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