BTSCelebs: Who is Annette Lovrien Duncan professionally?
Annette Duncan: I am Associate Professor of English at Carthage College, having taught there for 33 years. I am also currently the Title IX Coordinator for the college, and the Chair of the Academic Senate (the faculty governance body). My husband is Senior Pastor at Church in the City, Milwaukee, and we’ve served in full-time ministry together since 1988. But the role that is bringing me a great deal of joy right now is that of being a film actress—it’s a genuine dream come true.
What inspired you to pursue acting?
I’ve done stage acting most of my life, but the film acting is recent. My son-in-law (Thomas Adisi) moved back from Hollywood where he and my daughter were pursuing acting full-time. He started CoLAB Film School in Milwaukee. Being a supportive mom, and having had a dream since childhood to act in film, I signed up for his first classes. His guidance and knowledge of how to step into the industry was the boost I needed to pursue this passion in earnest.
You portray character Sheryl Williams in “Dolphin Island”. What is one quality Sheryl has that you want to mirror in real life?
Sheryl has a deep-seated faith in God and a love for her family that supersedes earthly concerns. We have seven children, four kids-in-law, and seven grandbabies (so far), and it has been my experience that nothing but faith in God will keep me grounded in the midst of that.
What was your favorite scene in “Dolphin Island”?
Though it’s not the most dramatic scene, I am powerfully connected to the exchange between Sheryl and Anna when she passes on the cross—and the legacy of love and faith. It is a poignant representation of enduring inter-generational values and relationship.
Which stars mirror (and are the complete opposite) of their “Dolphin Island” character?
Peter Woodward is truly a renaissance man, someone who can dazzle with both his intellect and his ability to wrangle a rusty boat—very much like the character of Jonah in the film. And Tyler Jade Nixon is a bright, warm, loving teenager, quite similar to the character of Annabel. Bob Bledsoe, on the other hand, is not a money-hungry and deceptive character, but rather a notably kind and generous human. But can he ever play the villain!
Since the pandemic started, how are you spending quality time?
My life has not actually changed that much. Most of our family lives nearby, and some even moved in during the early days of quarantine. We still hang out, we do some (safe) traveling, and we’ve added a baby and a wedding during 2020. I also have chosen to teach my classes in-person at the college because I believe our young people need face-to-face interaction as much as possible. I also sing in a professional choir in Milwaukee (Master Singers) and, when the ice breaks, I swim and jog as much as possible.
What are your top 3 family/indie films of all time?
I’ve always enjoyed Aladdin—who doesn’t love some Robin Williams??
I want to give a shout out to Smoke Signals, based on the Sherman Alexie novel
And two films which always deeply moved me in a similar vein are The Mission and Chariots of Fire. (That’s four, but who’s counting?)
Which actor and actress would you like to star alongside in the future?
Denzel Washington! He’s a king. And I’ve forever been in awe of Meryl Streep, though I think Reese Witherspoon has more depth than she is often allowed to show and I’d be honored to work with either of them.
What other projects should we expect from you this year?
The film industry is really starting to come back to life, so auditions are beginning to roll in again—yay! I’ve mostly been doing some commercial work and I did a fun documentary about the life of Russell Brunson that will be coming out soon, but I’m excited to get back into feature films. I’m currently in the final call-back stages for several, but no roles to formally identify as yet. Stay tuned!
“Dolphin Island” is now available on most video-on-demand platforms.
A Special Thanks to Annette Duncan and Collide Media Group for the exclusive interview and image.