Role Play

Dennis gets break in Netflix series

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior writer
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, June 29, 2018

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JAMAICA and Jamaicans feature heavily in Season 2 of Netflix's action series Luke Cage, which is currently available for streaming on that media service's provider.

Episode 11 — The Creator was shot on location in Jamaica and features a number of Jamaican actors and extras, including 2017 Actor Boy Award-winning actor and Jamaica Observer writer Desmond Dennis.

Choreographer and artistic director L'Antoinette Stines of L'Acadco and Melessa Vassel also have roles.

Veteran Jamaican film producer Natalie Thompson of Cinecom provided production support with casting by Cecile Burrowes.

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 told Jamaica Observer's weekly Splash. “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 how his work translated on the Netflix screen. His fears were allayed once the series was released last Friday as he watched his episode with two of his closest friends.

“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. Filming was fun and exciting and the crew treated us like stars. But it was also challenging — doing multiple takes of the scene to get it just right,” said the 26-year-old.

Jamaican culture comes to life in this season of Luke Cage thanks to the character Bushmaster, who hails from Jamaica. Elements of this character draws parallels with Maroon leader and National Hero Nanny, as well as the spiritual and healing practice known as obeah.

The soundtrack includes: Gregory Isaacs' Night Nurse, Under Mi Sensi from Barrington Levy, Chase the Devil by Max Romeo, W orld A Reggae from Ini Kamoze, Bob Marley's Hypocrites, Sun Is Shining, and Redemption Song, and Stephen Marley's You're Gonna Leave and Chase Dem.

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