The Blacklist

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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.”

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