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Hulu's Wu-Tang: an American Saga Newcomer Uyoata Udi is Ready to Make an Impact

Audiences of season 1 of Hulu's Wu-Tang: An American Saga have called season 2 a triumph. And the show about Bobby Diggs, who strives to unite a dozen young Black men who are torn between music and crime but eventually rise to become the unlikeliest of American success stories, continues to raise the bar every Wednesday when new episodes are available for streaming. For new cast member Uyoata Udi, who plays legendary rapper Inspectah Deck, this show is relatable and resonates with all that America can be.

We caught up with the Hollywood newcomer to talk about his new role, his Hollywood legacy and more.

Congrats on your first magazine cover for Black Pepper Magazine. How do you feel about all that is happening in your career? You have your first cover this is your first show as a series regular.

I’m grateful! Honored to have major opportunities such as this show. It’s as though God has shined a peculiar light and it’s shining on me and through me.

Now you are portraying Inspectah Deck this season, tell us about your character and why was this a great role for you to take on?

Deck is a member of The Wu-Tang Clan. In this season, we get to see more of his story and the struggles he’s had to face. In researching Deck, I discovered a lot of similarities between him and I. One thing that I remember was Deck mentioning in an interview that he was “a class clown, but wasn’t no dumb muthafu*a.” This resonated with me most as it’s exactly how I felt while in school.

Were you a big fan of Wu-Tang before getting the part?

Definitely, partly because of my cousins, who are Wu fanatics. They would listen to Wu on their CD players, know all the rhymes, and ad-libs. My appreciation for the Wu grew deeper as I prepared for this role.

Why do you feel this series has captivated an audience? There are a lot of stories from the 90s music scene, why does the Wu-Tang story stand out?

It’s a story we all can relate to. It touches on struggles. We’ve all struggled in one way or another. Also, it’s an inspiration to those who feel like giving up/quitting. Most importantly, it’s a story that is bringing about change. Specifically, how Black men and women are seen on screen. This show changes the narrative. This show tells a story about Black men uniting as brothers and creating something bigger than themselves.

Talk to me about preparing for this role. What was the process like?

In preparing for this role, I tapped into the energy of the times. I called people I knew had experienced Wu-Tang first hand to explain the energy they experienced. Secondly, I listened to the music. Most of the information/background about the group is in their music. Which goes to show how real they kept it.

Do you feel pressure taking on such an iconic figure in HipHop?

Yes, definitely. I’m portraying one of the best lyricists in the world. Just that alone is pressure! Also, the 90s was such a specific era. Everyone I’ve spoken to who lived in NYC during those times remembers every single detail about any and every experience. I feel responsible to meet the standards while portraying the essence of Deck.

What was one thing that surprised you that you learned about Wu-tang?

Each member having a solo deal was pretty surprising. It is really cool to see artists showcase and hit numbers under their label, but still having the freedom to work as a group under another label.

What do you feel we can learn from this story as it pertains to building a brotherhood?

Instead of looking at your brother/sister and wanting to challenge him/her or bring him/her down, stand behind him/her and unite to reach the most success.

Talk to me about the transition from your theater background to being a newcomer on the screen?

It was a bit challenging navigating from theatre to the screen. Although they are two different worlds, the craft/art is the same. The only true difference is your audience and how they are viewing you. For me, this meant I had to learn and use different techniques, tools, and skills to communicate whatever story I’m telling in whatever way. I’ve been blessed to have worked on major universal projects both on Broadway and TV.

What other roles do you hope to portray? Any other iconic figures?

I’m unsure of the specifics, but something major and challenging. I enjoy roles that are meaningful and will help bring about change.

What impact do you hope to leave on Hollywood?

The impact I hope to leave will be being the most adaptable/ transformative actor and work on life-changing material.

New episodes of Wu-Tang: An American Saga steams on Hulu every Wednesday.


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