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Hisham Tawfiq Reveals How He Really Feels About Red and Dembe's Relationship

We have witnessed numerous devoted agents work with Raymond Reddington (James Spader) to bring down his famed list of Blacklisters over the course of The Blacklist's ten suspenseful seasons. But when things didn't go as planned, Dembe Zuma (Hisham Tawfiq) was there for Red at all times.

How to View Peacock and NBC both air The Blacklist.

Since his debut in the The Blacklist premiere as Red's stoic personal driver and bodyguard, Dembe has become a fan favorite. But it didn't take us long to realize that Dembe was much more than a driver. He was saved from a child trafficking organization as a small child and adopted by Red. Dembe was fostered by Red, who eventually accepted him into his criminal organization.

Dembe was Red's lifelong companion and, in many respects, he was whole without him. Dembe is a man of few words, in contrast to Red, who enjoys a lengthy monologue. Dembe knew to be calculating and on guard when Red was furious and insane. Many people know Red to be merciless, yet his attachment to Dembe is his fatal flaw.

Numerous facets of the relationship between Dembe and Red have evolved by The Blacklist's season finale. The adored characters had some intense moments as a result of seeing how far Dembe and Red would go to protect one another. Dembe was tasked with arresting Red when he was eluding the feds. Red gave Dembe a life-saving blood transfusion after he was shot during the chase, which might have contributed to his tragic demise.

The Blacklist: Red and Dembe
Image: NBC
Fans watched in awe as Dembe, who is generally reserved, gave one of the most moving speeches in all of The Blacklist when he was recovering in the hospital. He thought back on his numerous escapades with Red, and how much he appreciated his lack of fear of death, despite being continually surrounded by it. He continued by saying that Red had taught him to "rage against" death by appreciating life's most basic joys.

"You'd never imagine this is how it would end," Dembe said to Harold Cooper (Harry Lennix) in the heartbreaking scene. "But it was never about how it ended during our time with him, throughout our time together. The adventure was the main focus. on living. Regarding Raymond continually reminding, demonstrating, and pleading with us to be furious.

In the midst of the emotional climax that was the explosive series finale, Tawfiq spoke with NBC Insider a few weeks ago about the legacy that The Blacklist leaves behind. Continue reading to get Tawfiq's thoughts on saying goodbye to such a beloved character.

Hisham Tawfiq and I reflect on The Blacklist in the past.
Dembe Zuma played by Hisham Tawfiq
Picture: NBC/Zach Dilgard
Inside NBC: How does it feel to say goodbye to The Blacklist after more than 200 episodes?

Hisham Tawfiq: It's a painful time for me, but it's also a time of gratitude. I therefore alternate between the two. I feel incredibly grateful and honored to have been given the opportunity to take part in this historic show.

Who is your favorite Blacklister that the Task Force has ever arrested and sentenced?

Working with Mr. Solomon on [Season 3] was a blast. We were never able to finish that. But he was one of the characters in the show with whom I liked conversing. In Season 1, I especially adored the character of Anslo Garrick.

What is one of your favorite recollections from the show, in your opinion?

Just the chats Dembe had with his Imam on the broadcast stood out among others. Other times involve simply touring and observing the size of the fan base. In 2019, I had the opportunity to visit Ghana. simply observing the fervor with which Ghanaians embraced the program. There have been instances when the entire cast was present on set. That kind of moment stands out to me. They excelled.

The Blacklist's filming is now complete; check these photos from the wrap party

What alterations have you noticed in the way Dembe and Red have interacted since The Blacklist first aired?

I have no idea about Red and Dembe. That relationship, in my opinion, hasn't really changed. They were together for a shorter period of time. But in the end, even though it might cause some hesitation or shame, we both understood that we could pick up the phone and call on each other in an emergency. At the conclusion of the day, we had a permanent link. Therefore, there was a continuous ebb and flow. Dembe joining the Task Force is, in my opinion, the largest difference. I have very little involvement with this unit. [Laughs]

It seemed as though I never even spoke to anyone when I was with Red and the Task Force. And I believe that out of everyone on the Task Force, I interacted with Harry Cooper more as time went on. And I believe that we both had a great deal of respect for one another. And I believe that the Task Force, with Harry serving as its leader, gradually came into alignment as a result. Additionally, he developed a respect for Dembe and began to [accept] him rather than just dread him.

What word would you use to sum up The Blacklist's conclusion?


Daniel Jack

For Daniel, journalism is a way of life. He lives and breathes art and anything even remotely related to it. Politics, Cinema, books, music, fashion are a part of his lifestyle.