“Conflicted”: An Interview With Playwright, Author Duece King

by Tanya Gamble

Duece King is a playwright, author, and motivational speaker born and raised in Buffalo, NY.         

 He’s recently taken on the role of creating movies in partnership with AK Reed and together they are diversifying the film industry. Their portfolio includes hits like “Pure”  the movie series and “Hunger Pangs “released in 2018. They are back at it again with their latest movie “Conflicted.”         

“Conflicted”  is attracting a lot of recognition and is showcasing the City of Buffalo in a very positive light. The film  features famous Buffalo native rappers Benny the Butcher and Westside Gunn as key characters but ultimately it  is centered around Hunter (played by Duece King) a young man recently released from prison, trying his hardest to keep his hands clean and begin a new phase in his life. However  betrayal, drugs and violence try to deter him from his aspirations. 

Tanya: Can you tell me how you got started in film production and acting? 

Duece: I first started writing in prison to escape the reality  of being confined in a prison. When I came home, I continued on that path and ran into some people that were doing film, (notably) AK Reed and he turned me on to doing film and writing for him. The rest is history.

Tanya: How did the idea of the film “Conflicted” come to you? What was your inspiration behind writing it? 

Duece: Life. I lived such a colorful life. I just started creating characters based off of past experiences. So, even though the stories that I create are fictitious, it comes from an organic place. So, I just use real life experiences; things that I’ve been through to create these stories.

Tanya: You also act in the movie. You play the main character Hunter. As the writer, did you immediately see yourself playing Hunter or did you want to cast someone else for that role? 

friends reunited through film AK Reed on left  with Duece King 

Duece: I was not supposed to play Hunter. Someone else was actually cast during auditions. In the midst of us doing rehearsals we had a rule that if a person missed two or more rehearsals then we would have to replace them. So, the person didn’t take it as seriously as I would’ve, and I was kind of forced into that position. I knew the role. I knew the character and  people around me were like, “Yo! you have to play that role,” and I just took on the responsibility. 

Tanya: But in the end you enjoyed it? 

Duece: I really don’t like being on camera. I don’t like being in front of the screen. I would rather be behind the scenes. 

Tanya: As I was watching the movie, I was thinking to myself, this looks so familiar. Where exactly in Buffalo did you shoot in film? 

Duece: We used staples of the community. We used restaurants that we would often frequent. We filmed all over Buffalo. Everywhere from the North, West and East side of Buffalo

 Tanya: The next thing I noticed was of course the costuming. Everyone in the film represented Buffalo by their clothing. I saw Sabres gear, Bill’s gear, G.U.A.G.G.I sportswear which stands for “Get Up And Go Get It” started by Jay Turlz a Buffalo native, and a relatively new clothing brand Buffalo Kids owned by Westside Gunn that’s located in the Galleria Mall. What are your thoughts on Gunn’s  clothing brand? 

Duece: I know Westside Gunn and I think [his clothing brand] represents the culture. I believe that he’s doing a great job of being the face of the city. I believe he’s creating a lot of opportunities — not just with his clothing line but for music — to inspire other people to want to pursue their dreams. I believe the Buffalo Kids brand represents the culture of Buffalo.

Tanya: Now, I see you and AK Reed collaborate in a lot of projects. How did you guys meet and What is it like working with AK Reed? 

Duece: I’ve known Reed since we were kids. We went to grade school together.  We temporarily separated over the years but reunited for film. It was actually real organic working together and it’s a pleasure working with him. I’m very thankful for him.

Tanya:Where can people find you online? What’s your social media handles and website? Where can people find your films? 

Duece:You can find the films on Tubi as well as Amazon Prime. My website is www.dueceking.com and as far as my handles on social media, everything is Duece King, D.U.E.C.E. my Facebook is Duece King, and my name on Instagram is @DueceKin 62. 

For more information on the latest films being released by Duece King and AK Reed.

Check out AK Reed’s YouTube channel AK Reed Films, to watch trailers of their released and soon to be released projects. 

The Official Trailer for Conflicted is below and can also be found on AK Reed Films Youtube Channel