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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star Winston Duke reacts to a fan learning about his television debut on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2014.
A viral clip from Law & Order: SVU featuring a young Winston Duke has the actor reminiscing about his first role. Duke is best known for playing the character of M’Baku in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a role he originated in 2018’s Black Panther and reprized in its sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which was released last November. more of his cameo appearances. in the crossover films Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. M’Baku is the leader of the Jabari tribe who, at the end of the sequel, has just become the king of Wakanda.
On TikTok, a fan shared a video of an episode of the Law & Order: SVU Season 15 episode “Gridiron Soldier” which featured Duke as Cedric, a teenage footballer who is the victim of hazing. cruel. A fan shared the video on Twitter saying “Wait, that’s Winston Duke?! Let me go find that episode on Peacock. In turn, Duke himself tweeted the message, confirming that it was indeed him in the clip and that the role was his “2014 TV debut.” Check out the post and video below:
Where You May Have Seen Winston Duke Before Black Panther
Winston Duke graduated from the Yale School of Drama in 2013 and worked steadily for several years before hitting the big time with the original Black Panther in both theater and TV productions. While the Law & Order: SVU episode was his on-screen debut, he soon appeared in other major series. This includes seven episodes of the thriller Person of Interest, one episode of Major Crimes in 2015 and three each in The Messengers and Modern Family.
The actor wouldn’t make his film debut until Black Panther, at which point the Marvel machine swept him away and kept him from returning to television for the time being. However, he’s appeared in several other films since 2018. Probably the biggest is Jordan Peele’s second feature on Us in 2019, in which he played the patriarch of a family going up against his own doppelgangers. In 2020, he also held roles in supernatural drama Nine Days and Mark Wahlberg’s crime film Spenser Confidential.
In the years to come, he will put his appearance in Law & Order: SVU even more in the rearview mirror with roles in high-profile non-Marvel films. This includes David Leitch’s 2024 film The Fall Guy, in which he will star alongside Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Emily Blunt and Hannah Waddingham. While that film is currently in production, the star also has two films in pre-production: FBI historical drama Marked Man (opposite Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams) and revenge flick Heroine.