Actor Rolando Boyce returns home for ‘The Chi’

Roland Boyce
Roland Boyce

South Side native who plays Darnell describes the opportunity as an “important” and “beautiful” homecoming.

Veteran actor Rolando Boyce has joined the cast of Showtime’s The Chi for season 2 as Darnell, Jacob Latimore (Emmett’s) father.

Boyce is a native of the South Side and a veteran of the Windy City theater scene. He started acting in high school and became a professional during the mid-1990s as a member of Chicago’s historic ETA & Black Ensemble Theatre. In between, he served as an Army Reservist in the Desert Storm War.


The role of Darnell will span the entire storyline of The Chi’s second season while also resonating a season-long theme that Boyce finds to be personally inspiring.

“Lena and the writers focused on fatherhood for the second season and that’s right up my alley,” said Boyce. “I’m a father of four and there’s nothing more important to me than my family and being a Dad, so to be able to work with the extremely talented Jacob Latimore and play his Dad is truly a honor.”

Working in Chicago is a joy for Boyce, who has spent the past several years in Los Angeles.

“Going home and representing my city was beautiful,” he says. “The culture and humility portrayed on the show is what draws people in — the characters are very real and relatable. I believe after people see me as Darnell they’ll be able to relate to me in some capacity.”

After his stint with Chicago’s historic ETA & Black Ensemble Theater, Boyce had his breakout role playing William in Kenneth Lonergan’s Lobby Hero at the Goodman Theater, as well as Lincoln in Susan Lori Parks Topdog/Underdog at Madison Repertory Theater.

His first TV appearance on Fox’s Prison Break has led to roles including The Chi, Chicago P.D, A Dog’s Way Home, Scandal, Law & Order, Criminal Minds, and Justified.

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