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Dancer and actor Dulé Hill stars in ‘Sleight’

Kam Williams | 5/18/2017, 6 a.m.
Dulé Hill talks about his new movie, an action thriller about a street magician who starts dealing drugs to raise ...
Dulé Hill stars in “Sleight.” Photo: Courtesy Universal Pictures

Born in Orange, New Jersey and raised in Sayreville, Dulé Hill began attending dance school when he was 3 years old. He later received his first break as the understudy to Savion Glover on Broadway in “The Tap Dance Kid.”

On the web

To see a trailer for “Sleight,” visit: https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/AtV4J

Or: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORL1d7GWoBc

Hill went on to perform the lead role in the musical’s national tour. Additional stage credits include “Bring in ’Da Noise, Bring in ’Da Funk,” the Tony Award-nominated musical “After Midnight,” “Stick Fly,” “Black and Blue,” “Dutchman,” “Shenandoah” and “The Little Rascals.”

Hill is well known for his role on “The West Wing,” for which he garnered an Emmy Award nomination, four NAACP Image Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards as part of the Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series.

His other television credits include the role of Burton “Gus” Guster in the long-running series “Psych,” which earned him four NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series. He also played Larry in the second season of “Ballers.”

Big screen credits include “Gayby,” “Miss Dial,” “Edmond,” “The Guardian,” “Holes,” “Sugar Hill,” “She’s All That,” “Sexual Life” and the independent comedy “Remarkable Power.”

Hill is a SAG-AFTRA Foundation Board Member and is involved with the non-profit organizations Justice for Vets and The Gabriella Foundation. In his spare time, he enjoys tap dancing and playing the saxophone, although he admits that he hasn’t quite mastered the art of the sax.

Here, Hill talks about his new movie, “Sleight,” an action thriller about a street magician (Jacob Latimore) who starts dealing drugs to raise his sister (Storm Reid) after the death of their mom.

What interested you in “Sleight”?

Dulé Hill: Beyond the exciting journey that J.D. Dillard and Alex Theurer delivered in their script, the main thing that interested me in “Sleight” was the chance to play a character outside of the scope of what I am used to playing on screen. As an actor, I’m always looking for new and interesting ways to challenge myself. The idea of playing a type of villain was extremely intriguing.

How would you describe the film in 25 words or less?

DH: “Sleight.” A story about good versus evil. Life versus death. Circumstances, choices and the powers a young mind can develop when life gets under pressure.

The movie sounds like a mix of several genres.

DH: It is! J.D. and Alex did a fantastic job of combining an urban, dramatic thriller with a sci-fi superhero origin story to create this world. They took different aspects of genres we enjoy and mashed them up to create a film that is engaging, fresh and new, which was another one of the many reasons I wanted to be a part of this project.

How would you describe your character?

DH: Angelo is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, the kind of guy who charms his way into your world until one day you realize that he doesn’t understand the meaning of the word boundaries. He’s your best friend and your bully all at the same time.

What message do you think people will take away from the movie?

DH: I believe that a message people will take away from the movie is “Actions have consequences, so be careful of the choices you make.”

What is the most important life lesson you’ve learned so far?

DH: Enjoy life’s moments. Do not take them for granted, because you never know which one will be the last. Also, seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you. In other words, get your priorities straight; figure out what really matters and focus on that.