Damion Poitier is a multi-talented creator who possesses acting, writing, and stunt skills alike! He served one of two stunt doubles for Michael Dorn in Star Trek: Picard season 3, appeared in The Flash as Goldface, works on and appears in the video game Crime Boss: Rockay City, and contributed to the TTRPG The Sundering: The Nation Beneath our Feet.

I caught up with Poitier over Zoom to ask about working with a Kur’leth, to find out about his latest appearance on The Flash, and to learn more about The Sundering and Crime Boss: Rockay City.

RELATED: Catch up with all of our Star Trek: Picard recaps here

This interview is condensed for length and clarity.

AVERY KAPLAN: Can you tell us about your personal history with Star Trek?

DAMION POITIER: My entire life has been Star Trek. My parents are huge sci-fi fans. My grandmother was a librarian, and she was reading sci-fi before anybody was even on television. So I’m a multi-generational sci-fi fantasy genre fan. So it’s always been a part of my life.

AK: You were one of two Worf stunt doubles on Star Trek: Picard Season 3. How did you come to be involved in the show?

DP: I came into the business in stunts and became relatively well-known, and made a lot of friends. Over the last ten years, I’ve been migrating to a more semi-retired state. The problem is, stunts are a family. You hang with your people; it’s a very familiar, comfortable, fun, and immediately rewarding experience. So it’s very hard to push in a different direction when that’s going well, and when you’re being appreciated, and when you’re being given chances and repeatedly called. My love for the stunt community will forever remain. They brought me into the business.

Coming through that and going, “Okay, it’s time to focus on other things.” And then I got the call to do Star Trek. The stunt coordinator that I’d worked with before on a few different projects – including, actually, an earlier season of Picard; I actually did a couple of little bits on season 1, but that didn’t end up being anything.

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I’ve been a Romulan and a random alien. But the opportunity to play a Klingon was something I always wanted to do. I obviously want to play myself, as well. But that’s the wonderful thing about Trek. You’ve got characters that are in makeup for three seasons, and then that character dies and is literally replaced with the same person out of makeup. So, there’s the opportunity for growth. Wherever you have the opportunity to fit into the Star Trek universe, get in there and play.

AK: What was the makeup and costume process like for you?

DP: I’ve done a lot of makeup and prosthetics stuff before, so it was really simple. And they’ve been doing this for years. They were quick and efficient, they had everything down pat. They knew what they needed to do to me. I’ve actually worked with that team before because it’s the same team that did a J.J. Abrams movie. And in season 1, I was in makeup as well. So I’ve known these guys forever. So it was a simple, easy process. I believe most of Wardrobe was new. But once again, they’re pros. We got in there, we did the fittings. I got to wear the regalia. 

Michelle Hurd as Raffi Musiker and Michael Dorn as Worf in "The Bounty" Episode 306, Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+.

Michelle Hurd as Raffi and Michael Dorn as Worf. Photo Credit: Trae Patton/Paramount+. ©2021 Viacom, International Inc. All Rights Reserved.

AK: Are there any details about the costume we might not see on-screen?

DP: The hand wraps, they have to wrap those every single time. It’s not a glove. Those are actual wraps. There was a lot to the chest piece; it was a thick piece. It wasn’t body-formed; it was like armor. 

AK: Were you fighting with the Kur’leth? What is this weapon like in real life? Is it heavy?

DP: I actually really like that weapon, because there’s a handle on each side. With a sword, it’s one handle, so you can only use so many techniques. But when you have the opportunity to grab it on the other side, you can do different blocks; you can do some staff techniques. And then you can even let go and just hold it by the other blade because there’s an extra blade. The cross-guard is actually bladed. So it’s like an axe at that point.

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It’s a little more functional that a Bat’leth. There are aspects of it that are more for traditional fighting, or for most of the traditional martial arts stuff that you would study, it’s a lot easier to come up with stuff for than a Bat’leth, which is asymmetrical. You’d have to get into Kung fu, which I haven’t studied, to get your mind around that weapon. Not that I wouldn’t be equal to the challenge, but I just found the Kur’leth very easy to use. It wasn’t difficult at all to pick it up and fling it around, just have fun with it.

AK: What was the fight choreography process like? 

DP: The fight choreography was done by Matt Mullins, who I’ve worked with for years. And Guy Fernandez, the stunt coordinator, came in and oversaw it as well. Dorn was there and had his notes and things like that. What happens is, usually nowadays your bigger stunt departments will have a team. And I was coming in to double Worf, so I wasn’t part of the pre-production team and the pre-viz (previsualization). So they do the pre-viz, they come up with the fight, and I come in and they show it to me. We make adjustments. They show it to Dorn, we make adjustments. I work it out. Then we pre-viz it with me then we shoot it with him, and we go back and forth and figure out all the tricks and things.

Then we go to set. Everything changes. Because the space you thought you were going into is never the space you get. So then you make the adjustments and everything, then they start rolling the cameras and we just get it done. But as I said, I’ve worked with most of the members of the team before. That’s the loveliness of stunts for me, I know a lot of guys in the business. So the guys I didn’t know were already comfortable with me because everybody else was comfortable with me.

Stunts is like a dance. So when you’re doing a dance with somebody you’re comfortable with, you’re able to get in synch a lot better, and they’re able to move around whatever you’re doing a lot better.

AK: Can you tell us about your work on The Flash?

Closeup of Poitier as Goldface on The Flash.

Poitier as Goldface on The Flash.

DP: I just concluded my three-episode run on the final season of The Flash. It was wonderfully bittersweet. I was introduced in season 5: one episode. In season 6: one episode. Season 7, nobody was traveling because of COVID. They brought me back for season 8: one episode. Then season 9: three episodes!

RELATED: Read all of our recaps of The Flash here

The whole time I was really hoping they’d give me a run, and they gave it to me for the last season, so that was awesome. It’s one of the first shows where I got to inform a lot of the character. And it was a chance for me to play and put my own thing into it, and they let me craft the character’s style with them. Everyone said they weren’t expecting what I did with what they wrote, and they felt it enriched the words and they loved it. They let me play with it and put a nice bit of my own spin on how that character was represented. 

AK: Can you tell us about Crime Boss: Rockay City?

DP: It’s exclusively on Epic Games first, and then we’ll wide-release on all platforms in a few months or so. It’s a first-person shooter cooperative organized crime game. You’re working to become the boss of Rockay City. The king of crime in the city dies, and then everybody starts vying for the top spot. The entry-level character is Michael Madsen, and you’re playing through with him. And because everything is so unstable, we actually bring Chuck Norris in. He’s the big gun.

Characters poster for Crime Boss: Rockay City.

Poitier also appears in the game.

I had done a lot of voice-over and motion-capture stuff before. But that experience of being on the inside, being a part of the writing team. Discussing the different aspects and things and what goes into the game and what doesn’t work, was very eye-opening. It was as rewarding as it was frustrating. 

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This is a game that we’re just launching, and we have plans to roll more out, so it’s going to be a part of my life for the next few years. We’ve also got Michael Rooker, Danny Glover, Kim Basinger, Danny Trejo, and Vanilla Ice. Working with some of those guys, and knowing their history and what they bring to it. Knowing that you’re working with them and utilizing them, so writing parts of who they are as performers into the role… It’s once again, not anything that I ever thought was coming my way.

AK: Can you tell us about The Sundering?

DP: I’ve always been a huge Dungeons and Dragons fan. I started playing when I was eight or nine. One of the things that I noticed, at the time, was that there weren’t a whole lot of people of my hue in the fantasy offerings. So I asked, “What would an Afro-centric setting be like?” I got together with my friend Hannibal Tabu, who is a prolific writer, creator, and reporter. He got the ball rolling and ran with it.

There were things that I wanted to see that I wasn’t seeing. And that’s been consistent throughout my history as a performer. So one of my greatest challenges is to make them and put them out there. Is there a market for the stuff I want to see? I don’t know. I won’t know until I get it out. And this is a huge thing for me: having a TTRPG setting that has my face and name on it!

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Tabu and I put together a world that had a lot more of the influences that we wanted to see in fantasy. It was put together by Unlikely Heroes Studios; they do a lot of comics and they wanted to move into a TTRPG world. And so between myself, Tabu, and Laurie Foster… Hannibal did 98% of the writing, I had some influences and had stuff that I put in, and Laurie got an amazing team of artists and editors together. It’s a beautiful book. The physical books are coming out in June or July. It’s one of the wonderful things about being creative today, is you can find people and come together and create what you want. You just have to find the time… and a little bit of cash.

AK: What would you, personally, order from the replicator?

Damion Poitier

Poitier with “Jungle Berry Baby Juice.”

DP: Odowala had this “Strawberry Jungle Something-or-other” juice box. I don’t remember why I picked it up – I was just in the supermarket one day and I picked it up. It was a kid’s juice box, I just picked it up. I tried it, and, ah! It was like my nighttime routine, was I’d just watch TV and have a juice box. 

They discontinued it! I wrote to them and asked them when they were going to bring it back and they said they didn’t know if they were going to! And they have the bottle one, but the juice box was the jam. So I’d definitely order that juice box! I’ll have to get the actual name. But we called it “Jungle Berry Baby Juice.”

All 10 episodes of Picard season 3 are currently available for streaming on Paramount+.

Paramount+. Thousands of episodes including all Star Trek series, live TV & exclusive originals–all in one place. Try it free!

This interview was originally published on 4/21/23.

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