Season 3 Wed M-Net (*101) 20:30 Repeats Sat M-Net (*101) 16:00
When master criminal Red Reddington (James Spader) needs a right-hand man in action show The Blacklist (2013current), he turns to bodyguard Dembe Zuma (Hisham Tawfiq). As it turns out, 46-year-old Hisham knows about being an enforcer – he’s an ex-Marine!
Hisham joined the US Marines in 1
1991 when his dreams of playing pro American Football went down the drain after a hand injury. After a year serving in Kuwait, he returned to the US in 1992 to be a corrections officer.
He worked at infamous New 2
York max-security prison Sing Sing, where Hisham says that he met criminals who’d be at home on The Blacklist, adding, “They aren’t as smart as the ones on the show – these guys got caught!”
The action man changed jobs in 3
1995 to become a firefighter and he’s still a volunteer, “Just in case this acting gig doesn’t work out,” Hisham jokes. “One of the beauties of being a firefighter is the flexibility of the schedule, so when I was off work, I was at acting classes and doing auditions.”
He discovered his love for drama 4
in high school while reciting the 1969 poem Caged Bird by Maya Angelou, who passed away in May 2014.
Hisham retired from active fire5
fighting duty last year to spend more time with his wife Ruth (they’ve been married since 2009) and his 16year-old son from a previous marriage.
And he’s combining his two 6
career loves now that he has more free time. “I started working on a documentary film that I’m putting together about my whole experience as a black firefighter,” he says. “I’ve always wanted to get into the writing, directing, executive producing, so I’m just putting a company together.”