It’s an actor’s job to entertain, but they also need entertainment. For Winston Duke, video games have been his outlet for as long as he can remember. Dating back to his childhood in Trinidad and Tobago, the 36-year-old recalls playing with the few kids in his neighborhood who had access to the latest video game consoles.
Now that he’s one of Hollywood’s busiest stars, with roles in Black Panther, Us, and Spenser Confidential, Duke found a way to fit his favorite pastime into his hectic schedule thanks to Google’s Chromebook laptop, which runs cloud-gaming technology. As a lifelong gamer, Duke has partnered with Google to help promote their latest cloud gaming Chromebooks: the Acer Chromebook 516 GE, Asus Chromebook Vibe CX55 Flip, and Lenovo Ideapad Gaming Chromebook, which it released in 2022.
“My life is really, really involving,” Duke tells Complex. “So it’s very hectic when I’m filming. And it consumes so much of me that when I want to turn off, I love just turning off and doing something fun and just having something that’s going to be very playful. And the Chromebook’s been really cool for that.”
The actor appeared in two Chromebook commercials in which he’s gaming on his laptop while his agent attempts to go over movie scripts with him but he’s too distracted to listen. (He also shot additional footage with an actual ostrich that didn’t make it into the final cut.) While the agent storyline in the commercial is funny, it’s not something that happens in real life. When he’s at work, he stays focused. “When I’m on set, I am in it,” he says. “Once I can take off the character, I need that outlet of something to just not have too much stress on my mind. And that’s why the games are so important. I go home, turn on my game, and turn on my Assassin’s Creed.”
Aside from his love of video games—his favorites include classics like Marvel vs. Capcom, Street Fighter, and Mortal Kombat—Duke saw this as an opportunity to team up with a company to also help people, especially children in his community, by providing them access to technology that may be out of their reach. Building a legacy outside of acting has always been a priority for Duke. He also is an ambassador for Partners in Health, which he joined to help people get access to the COVID-19 vaccine. “I’m not afraid to say I’m obsessed with legacy,” the actor told Complex in a previous interview. “I’m trying to live in my present the way I would like to be remembered in the future.”
Complex caught up with Duke to talk all about his love for gaming, building a legacy to honor his late mother Cora Pantin, and more.