McGregory Frederique thought he was going to play an announcer in the new film “Devastation: End of Life,” but when the makeup artists started caking his face with white face paint, he said, “It hit me: I’m going to be the first black clown.”
Frederique, a 33-year-old Elmont resident, plays Jackel in the film. Co-director Vincent Williams describes the character as an “evil, murderous and somewhat compassionate clown” that wreaks havoc in a post-apocalyptic world where people are struggling to find water to survive.
“This movie is going to blow me up,” Frederique said. “When people see the movie, they’re going to be like, ‘Wow, this guy’s good.’”
He started acting in 2017, while he was recovering from injuries he sustained in a car accident.
At the time, he said, he thought he was going to be “a huge football star, playing in the NFL.” Frederique loved playing the sport while growing up in Harlem, and eventually joined Team America, a private, independent All-Star team that plays around the world in hopes of being drafted to the professional league.
Frederique showed promise as a wide receiver, he said, but just as he was making strides with the team, a truck slammed into his car, and he suffered injuries to his legs, face and head. He was unable to play football for months, and as he was recovering, he saw an advertisement for a casting agency. For a dollar, the ad said, the agency would offer him full use of its services for a week. “I tried it out,” Friederique recalled, “and then I started writing.”
Within a year, he had booked dozens of roles in commercials, television shows, independent projects and movies. He now dreams of having his wax figure displayed at Madame Tussauds in the city.
“I’m grateful I didn’t give up,” he said. “To get this role in my second year acting is pretty dope.”
Frederique found out about the opportunity a few months ago while perusing Facebook, and decided to send Director Fausto Toribio his resumé. Originally, he said, he was only supposed to have a minor role, but as Toribio and Williams continued to work with him, they made him the star of the film.
“He is an amazing actor,” Williams said of Frederique. “He’s a really good person to work with, and he takes his role very seriously.”
“Devastation: End of Life” will premiere on Long Island in early 2020, and tickets are on sale now. For more information, or to buy tickets, visit www.DevastationEndofLife.com.