Interview: Dwayne Boyd

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[Actor Interview]

I recently caught up with actor, screenwriter, director and producer Dwayne Boyd, who had a breakout role in the 2005 film "The Gospel" starring alongside actors Boris Kodjoe, Idris Elba and Nona Gaye. Boyd has also appeared in the films "Three Can Play That Game" and "Motives 2". Boyd a self proclaimed perfectionist when it comes to his craft, talked with us about his career as well as what to expect from him in the future.

BSN: What inspired you to become an actor?
DB: The idea of creating a character that lives and breaths. I can find things that are identical in my life based on the situation the character is in and make it fit in the characters world and just live fully in that moment. It forces moment to moment living.

BSN: What schools or classes did you take to help you build and refine your acting skills?
DB: A lot of training goes in to becoming an actor. I started in drama at Van Horn High School in Kansas City. I've taken other classes and workshops. That prompted me to start my own.

BSN: What was the first film that you were cast in, and what was that experience like being on-set for the first time?
DB: I was a stand-in for Jeffrey Wright in a film called Boycott for HBO. I knew I wanted to do this from that point on. Just being on set and watching the filming. Got to see Jeffery in his zone. That left a lasting impression.

BSN: As a up and coming African American actor, how did you go about finding the right agent to represent you in helping you to find roles?
DB: I asked the working actors on set to find out who repped them and did my research. Then I took some classes, did a few indie films, built a demo reel and started to shop for an agent. My goal was to sign with the People Store.

BSN: So now besides acting you write, produce and direct films as well right, what made you venture into the behind the camera aspect of the film industry?
DB:  More control in the decision making process. I get to be creative and have fun developing stories. Then I realized that is why I got into the business. I'm a creative person.

BSN: Now you have a film that you wrote, produced, directed and starred in called 4 Minutes, how did you come up with the
concept for that film and what were the challenges that you faced trying to get the film made?
DB: Just wanted to develop something familiar and a little different at the same time. I sat down with a co-writer and wrote the script in 6 weeks. The toughest obstacle as always is funding. I had two great Executive Producers in Delpanie Head and Orlando McCloud.

BSN: In the film Motives 2, you play a police officer, and now often times in film we don't see African American actors portraying honest, hardworking police officers on scene. In being able to portray that type of positive role what do you think that says about the direction in which African American actors are headed, in the types of roles that they are being offered in the film industry?
DB: We are in just about every profession so its only right that we are represented that way on film. I always find myself portraying a cop, doctor, or military type. I guess I'm typecast a bit, but hey, typecasting is not bad when you wanna be cast!

BSN: Besides movies I understand that you have made a few television appearances on shows such Army Wives, and Past Life. How has the experience filming a television show differed, from that of being on-set filming a movie?
DB:  Television is a lot faster. They have to sometimes shoot two shows at the same time. Not a whole lot of time spent getting to know your peers on a TV set. On film, its a little different. you spend weeks together. You become close.

BSN: So you had a role in the film The Gospel which was directed by Rob Hardy, and now your set to appear in the sequel to the film "Stomp The Yard" which was also directed by Hardy. How was working with Hardy this time around different, than working with him on the film the Gospel?
DB: It's always fun to work with your friends. I see him really growing. I know he has been working on a lot of TV shows like E.R and Criminal Minds. So his keen eye as a director has really developed. Not that I am surprised one bit. Just to see him in his element inspires me to push harder.

BSN: What did you take away from your experience filming "The Gospel" that you felt you were able to use further on in your career?
DB: Always being professional and prepared. It got me ready to produce my film. I would do a lot of note mental note-taking on the set.

BSN: How would you describe yourself as an actor?
DB: I try to live truthfully in the moment in every situation. That is what we do everyday and I want to project that every time I'm on screen.

BSN: What advice would you give to up and coming African American actors trying to make it in the film industry?
DB: Don't quit. Be nice to everyone. Help somebody.


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