Desmond Dennis: a class act

Entertainment year in review 2018

Thursday, December 13, 2018

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The Jamaica Observer continues its reflection on the year in entertainment. This daily column looks on the achievers, trendsetters, those who died, and the controversies.

For actor Desmond Dennis, 2018 was momentous. The 26-year-old was able to shake the disappointment of going home empty-handed after the nominations for the Actor Boy Award the previous year with a win at the annual event. He won best Actor in A Lead Role for his work in Maya Wilkinson's Heist. But there was more in store for him.

Dennis grabbed headlines later in the year thanks to a major role in an episode of Netflix's action series Luke Cage. Episode 11 — 'The Creator' was shot in Jamaica and features a number of Jamaican actors and extras.

For Dennis, who portrays the character Young Anansi, this was his film debut of sorts. He had appeared in the local television series Ring Games, based on Dahlia Harris's stage play Ol Fyah Stick.

“I got a call to audition for the Netflix series. Close to the deadline, I filmed it and sent it in not really sure I was what they were looking for,” the Clarendon-born Dennis remarked. “I didn't expect to be chosen. “Then came that call... I was so excited. Just to be on set for a major production was a thrill for me. This was in November last year and I had to keep everything under wraps until the series was released. We shot my scenes in Trench Town and the hills of St Andrew and I put my all into it.”

In the run-up to the series release on June 22, anticipation grew for Dennis. He could not wait to see how his work translated on the Netflix screen. His fears were allayed once the series was released.

“I am so pleased with how everything turned out. It looked just the way I wanted; really pleased with my performance. To many it's just two scenes, but for the countless others who know and can appreciate my journey, they know what these two scenes meant and continue to mean to me,” he added.

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