Actor Justin Hurtt-Dunkley (HBO’s Mare of Easttown) sees the value in reading multiple genres. He finds novels to be a form of entertainment. “Reading a novel just opens up my imagination a little bit more,” he tells So Booking Cool. “So I’m not seeing this character they’re describing on the screen, I’m creating it in my head, so I think that’s good. I can get exercise for the imagination. Self-help books…I mean, I just try to learn something that I didn’t know before. I think you can take something from everything. So, go pick up a book and read it. My intent is to find some gems in there that I can utilize in my everyday life.”
While the Long Island University alumni enjoys literature (he’s currently re-reading Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength again by John Tierney and Roy Baumeister), being an author is not on the agenda just yet. Naturally, Dunkley wants to tackle a script first. As a full-time actor, if he is not researching and studying the craft, he is strategically putting himself in certain rooms and networking; and/or developing content with his production team. “The power is behind the camera,” Dunkley says. He believes in one creating opportunities for himself and controlling the narrative.
Dunkley is currently filming HBO’s upcoming series, executive-produced by Kate Winslet, Mare of Easttown. Previous projects include the critically acclaimed and Netflix available High Flying Bird directed by veteran filmmaker Steven Soderbergh; The Last OG; the Lena Waithe and Halle Berry Boomerang reboot; and How to Make it in America, to name a few. Aside from his passion, Dunkley’s determination keeps him motivated.
“It’s a lot of people who I’ve started with also who have given up and kinda quit it because it got too hard,” he shares. “And it does get hard at times. It’s not an easy industry at all, but me just sticking with it and knowing my plan, knowing what I want to do and continue to grow and build…I motivate myself. I see it happening for me. There’s no other real way.”
Check out the interview to learn more about Dunkley including his start in acting; his thoughts on networking; lessons he’s had to learn in his career so far; the actors that inspire him; why Soderbergh inspires him and what it was like working with him as well as Kate Winslet; The Morning Show being the recent thing he watched that impressed him; and more! For more information, visit Dunkley on Instagram and his IMDB page.