Timon Kyle Durrett is your new celebrity crush. He’s talented, funny, and handsome. We’ve seen him in films like Barbershop: The Next Cut and Like Mike, but now, he’s moved over to OWN, The Oprah Winfrey Network, to star in the critically acclaimed Queen Sugar as Davis West. He sat down with us to discuss his career so far, his character Davis, and his passion for learning. Trust us when we tell you that it won’t be long before the world knows his name.
Cliché: What was your first acting role, and what did it teach you?
Timon Kyle Durrett: I booked my first acting role as an extra in a made-for-television-movie entitled There Are No Children Here starring Oprah Winfrey. It was shot in Chicago, my hometown. I didn’t have a car back then, so I took the bus and train downtown. When I got to set, I was so happy. I couldn’t believe it; I was actually working on a TV show. The actuality of it blew my mind. I figured if I could book this role, I could book more. And therein was the lesson. So, I did. The rest is history…in the making.
What are two things you are passionate about?
I’m a real geek for information. I absolutely love to learn. It’s been a long-time passion of mine: reading books, listening to lectures or audiobooks, watching documentaries or educational shows, etc. I could gorge on that stuff for hours at a time. As the saying goes: knowledge is power. But I believe that the application of knowledge is far more powerful; hence, my passion for it. Another passion of mine is helping people. I was a certified personal trainer for about 11 years. It always made me feel good to watch my clients grow healthier, stronger, and more confident. It was a personal triumph for them and me. I see a growing need for helping people these days, and I want my ability to fill that need to be a part of my life and legacy.
What do you love most about your character, Davis West, on OWN’s Queen Sugar?
Davis West is a pretty complex guy. He’s got some contrasting layers. You may hate him, you may love him, but you want to understand him. There’s an underlying dualism to him that makes you want to keep watching, dig deeper, see what’s really going on inside. I like that. It piques my interest in him, perpetually. As in real life, when a person discovers something about him/herself, I’m steadily doing the same with Davis.
I want to be able to transform, to become something quite opposite of the characters I normally play.
Queen Sugar was renewed for a second season before its television premiere in September. Is there anything that you wish to see happen to or for Davis in season two?
I’d like to see where Davis’s and Micah’s relationship goes. They have a closeness that is stronger than the scandal at hand, which would otherwise sever the bond between those who aren’t as close. I’d also like to see where things end up with his marriage and his relationship with his in-laws, whom Davis’s immediate family is, and where he comes from.
What is your dream role?
I have several of those. I really love a good action or sci-fi piece, or a mystery thriller. Typically, I play the clean-cut, well-dressed, and oft-times rich guy. I want to be able to transform, to become something quite opposite of the characters I normally play: dark, edgy, intimidating, dangerous, and maybe a bit crazy. I want a role where I literally have to change my look and study behavioral patterns of the type of character I’m playing—something I can, and would have to, sink my teeth into. I’ve always wanted to have an action figure made in my likeness, too. That would be so cool.
What other actors and directors would you love to work with one day?
Wow. To name them all would take up an entire page. That’s how much I love what I do. As far as actors go, and this is just a few from a very long wish list: Phylicia Rashad, David Oyelowo, Emily Blunt, Viola Davis, Ed Harris, Javier Bardem, Loretta Devine, Jeremy Renner, Lorraine Touissant, Cicely Tyson, Gerard Butler, and any of the principle cast of Queen Sugar. (Yeah, I’m partial, but they’re all so awesome.)
Directors: Ava DuVernay and any of the female directorial team of Queen Sugar (yep, they’re all awesome, too), Kathryn Bigelow, James Cameron, Penny Marshall, Antoine Fuqua, Angelina Jolie, Lee Daniels, and Ridley Scott. Again, just to name a few.
After wrapping for the season, what projects are coming up next for you?
As we say in the film and television industry: stay tuned.
Read more Entertainment Interviews at Clichemag.com
Timon Kyle Durrett Talks ‘Queen Sugar’: Photographed by Oleg Bogdan