Dwain Murphy was born on the small Caribbean Island of Dominica. After coming to Canada with his parents at the age of four, Murphy was persuaded to start acting and graduated from the Humber College Acting for Film and Television program. He is probably best known for playing the character Bishop in “How She Move,” and a supporting roles as Flipper in “Poor Boy’s Game” and more recently Claiborne in “The Book of Negroes.” You might also know him from his work in television, like his recurring role as Eric, Marco Del Rossi’s boyfriend, in “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” and for playing Giles, Carlos’ brother in “The Line.” He also had a starring role in the move Saving God as Norris. Murphy currently resides in Toronto, Ontario. He took some time to reflect on his career and fill us in on upcoming projects.
1. J.C: You were born in Dominica and moved to Canada at a young age. Can you speak to your experience growing up and how moving to Canada influenced you as a performer.
D.M : Growing up as an only child I had to entertain myself a lot. I believe it’s because I had such an active imagination from a young age, and my parents coming to a country that provided their child with more opportunities to be successful in life. All played a massive factor in shaping the man I have become today.
2. J.C: Early on did you know what you wanted your career to look like? How has that changed over the years?
D.M: I think when every artistic person starts out, their goal is to be massively successful, and leave a huge impact on the earth. As our careers and lives chug along we realize we just want to be respected for our work big or small. For me the challenges have been all about leaving a good body of work on all sets I have been fortunate to be apart of. The success to me comes in knowing you are putting your all into every acting experience, no matter how large or small the scale of the project. WORK IS WORK!!!
3. J.C: You’ve had such an extensive career already, what has all your experience taught you about life?
D.M: The biggest thing I have learned from my acting experiences would have to be: THERE IS NO BLUEPRINT ON LIFE. CELEBRATE YOUR FAILURES JUST AS YOU WOULD YOUR SUCCESSES. LEARN & MOVE ON!
4. J.C: You’ve worked on many Canadian Television series, I am wondering how you deal with the success of being cast on a show and then the process of letting go, if and when the series gets cancelled?
D.M: The deeper you get in the business the more you understand its just that, a business! So never let yourself get too high or too low. Every gig is just a pit stop. It may last a day, month, or years. Soak it up and enjoy!
5. J.C: What’s it like for a black man in the Canadian television landscape? Can you speak about your experience with diversity and how your ethnicity has impacted your career.
D.M: I take pride in being able to say I don’t just play the thug, bad guy or any stereotypical black male role. I have been able to prove to the powers that be that I can be more than the colour of my skin, and because of that I get brought in to audition for many roles regardless of what the breakdown says.
6. J.C: “The Headhunter’s Calling” is going to be released this year. You worked with stars like Gerard Butler, what was that like? Also tell us how different the process is on set for the lead stars versus the supporting actors?
D.M: Working with Gerard was fun, and he was very down to earth. Overall a great experience!! The good thing about working with “Hollywood Stars” is that you get to learn from them, and pick their brains. As a supporting actor you’re just assisting the story, so it’s your job to maximize the little time you have on screen.
7. J.C: You’re also starring in T.V film being released this year called “For Love and Honor.” How does it compare to working on “The Headhunter’s Calling?”
D.M: T.V. & film are only different from a financial aspect. With a feature film you’re going to be able get more takes, more chances to play because they have a bigger budget. In T.V. you’re not gonna get as many opportunities because they just don’t have time or the money.
8. J.C: Can you talk about your two characters from these films and how these opportunities help you to grow as an artist and as a man?
D.M: In “The HeadHunters Calling” I play a children’s nurse who’s helping a family member of (Gerard Butlers) through a tough medical experience. In “For Love & Honor” I play a drill Sgt. at a prestigious school for Cadets that is having financial trouble, which is threatening to close its doors forever. Both these roles connect with me because I like working with kids, and in both projects I was able to sync up with the paternal side of myself.
9. J.C: How do you balance your success, work and your family life?
D.M: It’s all about communication, and having a spouse that totally understands how to deal with someone who is self-employed. For me personally, it’s knowing that there is no backup plan. People are depending on my success, and I want to make them happy!
10. J.C: What advice would you give your younger self about having a career as an actor?
D.M: TAKE YOUR TIME. IT’S A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT!!!!
Look out for Dwain in “The Headhunter’s Calling,” slated to be released later this year.[starbox id=”JoellaC”]