Darnell Kirkwood talks Jordan Wilde and Y&R, upcoming projects, married life and more. Check it out here-->>>
Photo: Vanie Poyey
Darnell Kirkwood is an actor who hails from Kansas. He first got his kick start in acting through modeling in Europe and South Florida. He most recently played the role of Jordan Wilde on The Young and the Restless. Kirkwood got married approximately two years ago and Soap Opera News caught up with the talented actor to discuss his career, married life, his time on Y&R and much more. Check it out below!
Greetings Darnell. Let's talk a little bit about your background. Where you're from? Where you grew up and how got into acting?
Darnell: I was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. I got into acting through modeling in Europe and south Florida. The entertainment market in South Florida is not considered a major market like LA and NY but to me, it’s great for a person aspiring to build a resume of experience. It allowed me to go out on castings and auditions for modeling, commercials, television and film without directly competing with the major markets. I booked more as a model at first, which opened doors to start doing commercials. I knew it was time to invest in myself and get into acting classes to learn more of the craft of being a working actor. Again, being a smaller market, the commercial casting offices would also cast for television and film. So these casting directors would also bring you in to audition for small roles for television shows and films. Which I did and built a respectable resume to now take my passion to compete in the highly competitive market, LA.
I see your first acting gig was as a Guard in the series Burn Notice in 2011 - can you tell us about that and how you have transitioned into the actor you are today?
Darnell: Burn Notice was great because it was my first job on a network show. The cool thing about this job was I was originally cast and shot a smaller role the season prior. But the editors cut my scene out of the final edit so I did not technically have any face time on the show yet. This allowed me to audition for a bigger role on the show the following year, which worked out for me because I had more lines and was in a scene with the three lead actors. These are the type of gigs where you are there to push the story along and hopefully gain experience of being on a major set.
You've done films, primetime and daytime - what can you share about each of these aspects of your career?
Darnell: Doing work on films, primetime and daytime pulls out different strengths of your craft, but to me, each body of work for an actor is about “Can you tell the best story and entertain us while doing it? If so, do it.” Then it’s up to the audiences to either align or disagree with the team’s assessment. Being able to consistently do that across the board makes you a true asset in this business.
One of your most recent work is that of Jordan Wilde on The Young and the Restless, can you share how you landed the role?
Darnell: Landing the role of Jordan Wilde was about the alignment of being the role and trusting yourself. I say being the role because generally casting directors and the decision makers on a show have an idea of who the ideal person looks like. So if you fit that physically, before they even see you act they are at least interested to see if you can act as well. If you can and you’re able to take direction from the casting director, this helps them see you as being their ultimate choice. But to do that you have to trust yourself in your work to be able to bring your best self into the room. When I walked into the casting room with Sheila Guthrie, I just knew I was Jordan Wilde and just trusted that before I walked out she would agree. Then I just let it go and put it in God’s hands.
The character of Jordan clearly meant very much to you, what would you say most stood out among his attributes for you?
Darnell: Coming from humble beginnings and finding a way to have his talents afford him the ability to make a living. Also having to learn the hard way about the dangers of being in the grey area between actions of love or lust. Personally and in his business.
Now, his partner in crime Chelsea is returning in a few weeks - what does this mean for Jordan? Any idea? And, would you be open to returning?
Darnell: I was happy to hear the news of Chelsea’s return. I am a fan of Melissa and wish her nothing but continued success. She has a loyal following and I know everyone is very excited for her return. I’m not sure what that means for Jordan. Their history was never detailed so that always leaves room for them to reconnect. I’m not sure if Jordan will be making an appearance but if so, I look forward to seeing what he has been up to. LOL
Do you think you would ever do another soap role? If so, what's your dream soap role?
Darnell: I don’t know what body of work my talents as an artist will take me next. If it were to be soaps, my dream role would be a self-made savvy investor that struggles with an interesting vice that is putting his marriage on the rocks. Then he has a major life revelation and works to create a new way of life.
Can you share any details on your digital series where you play Desi?
Darnell: Desi was a small role I had on a digital series that was Mel Jones directorial debut. I got to play a more buttoned-up character. I was able to tap into my “nerdy” side. It was a fun role to perform and great crew to work with.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you can talk about?
Darnell: I have a quicken loans commercial coming out this year. I shot a role on a film, but I am unable to speak about it. I am doing voiceovers now and working behind the camera as well. I can’t wait to be able to share more about my upcoming projects.
Outside of acting what keeps you busy? We know you're a happily married man - how is married life?
Darnell: I am working on a project to build a foundation that donates to/develops different youth programs aiding to empowering the next generation of influencers. I’m constantly expressing myself with different forms of art. I meditate and strengthen my spiritual being. Marriage life is amazing. I truly got blessed to be in a love union with my wife Danielle. She is extremely beautiful inside and out. I taught her everything she knows in the kitchen, I know she will take credit for her creations of amazing meals, but… we all know who the real “Master Chef” is! We truly do have a lot of fun being each others best friend. She’s also the most amazing mom to our 3-year-old puppy Mister. We both are entrepreneurs growing our businesses. The one thing I will say about marriage, it has definitely demanded me to learn and appreciate a proper way to communicate within your union, not through the sums of each others experiences. If that makes any sense.
Is there any message that you would love to leave with your fans?
Darnell: Thank you for welcoming me and Jordan Wilde into your lives. Thank you for continuously supporting and encouraging me along this journey in time. I look forward to sharing more life with you! Bless It
So, fans are you excited about the possibility that we might see Jordan again?