*Gbenga Akinnagbe made his acting debut in 2004 on HBO’s “The Wire” as cold-blooded Chris Partlow, the number two in Marlo Stanfield’s Baltimore-based drug ring who famously did his dirt alongside fellow enforcer Snoop (Felicia Pearson).
A decade later, the Washington D.C. native has two current roles that are about as far removed from the drug game as one can get: he plays a CIA field operative in Fox’s “24: Live Another Day,” and an Army sergeant in the forthcoming film “Fort Bliss.”
By a strange turn of fate, both characters could probably switch films without anyone batting an eye. In “24,” Akinnagbe’s Erik Ritter is a talented, ambitious and arrogant operative who initially chafes at taking orders from his female superior. In “Fort Bliss,” his Sgt. Butcher is a talented, ambitious and arrogant soldier who initially chafes at taking orders from his female superior.
Also, in both projects, Akinnagbe’s characters are written so that audiences are not entirely sure if he’s indeed one of the good guys…until the very end.
By the time “Fort Bliss” arrives in theaters this fall, Akinnagbe will be coming off of his six “24” episodes and hitting the big screen in a film worthy of award season buzz.
Written and directed by Claudia Myers, the movie stars Michelle Monaghan (“True Detective”) as a single mother and decorated Army medic returning from a 15-month tour in Afghanistan – only to find that her young son has become maternally attached to his father’s live-in girlfriend.
Monaghan leaves a lasting impression as Maggie, who struggles – often clumsily – to win her son back, and ultimately symbolizes the heartbreaking decisions facing single mothers who desire to serve their country.
Like “Hurt Locker,” which won the Academy Award in 2010, “Fort Bliss” also shows the struggle of returning soldiers trying to resume lives at home, where something as simple as sleep only invites memories of exploding IEDs and other horrors of combat.
Akinnagbe’s Sgt. Booker goes through his own reintegration challenges in this gem of a film that hits theaters this fall.
Watch the trailer below.
Freddie Rodriguez, who plays Maggie’s commander Garver in “Fort Bliss,” calls the film “a female version of ‘The Hurt Locker'” in our interview with the actor below: