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'You See The Complexity Of The Black Man In Today's Era': Curtiss Cook On 'The Chi', Steven Spielberg

(CBS Local)-- There is not another show on television that looks or feels like "The Chi" on Showtime.

The powerful creation from Lena Waithe is still resonating with audiences in season two and also features some new faces like Curtiss Cook. The veteran actor plays Otis "Douda" Perry and had some major shoes to fill when he jumped into the show.

"It was strange and scary because The Chi was coming into its sophomore year," said Cook in an interview with CBS Local's DJ Sixsmith. "It had a big and incredible first year and everybody loved the series and the characters and here comes this new guy that was filling the void left by this old guy in Steven Williams, who is an incredible actor. I was really nervous about it and I was embraced by everyone there."

The Sit-Down: Curtiss Cook by CBS Local News on YouTube

Cook loves "The Chi" because it shows the faces of people that are not seen regularly on network television. Cook's character shows the dark side of running a drug business in Chicago and also the business acumen needed to pull this off.

"The beauty of it for me was that it wasn't just gang bang, boom boom gun fights and all that kind of thing," said Cook. "It was more about the business sense of this organization. There was a reason Otis Perry decided why he did what he needed to do. It was for the community and it was to uplift the community. Douda is very honest and direct... good, bad, or indifferent. You see the complexity of the black man in today's era."

In addition to his work on "The Chi," Cook is also part of the new Steven Spielberg production of "West Side Story" that will be released in 2020. Cook was blown away when Spielberg said he loved his worked on the Showtime series.

"Initially I only thought I would sing and dance," said Cook. "Then it changed and I focused more on television and film. Look at where I am. I still have places I want to go and things I want to do, but I've been very blessed. When Steven Spielberg comes up to you and is like 'oh my God I love you on The Chi' and he's cool with the camera angles and what he wants. He is very low key and direct. Him saying my name... I have to keep pinching myself."

"The Chi" is available to stream now on Showtime Anytime.

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