(CBS Local)– Ian Duff is a name you may not know, but the actor has been one of the breakout stars of the new drama on The CW called “The Republic of Sarah.” Duff plays Grover Sims on the series about a high school teacher who helps her town become its own nation. In addition to this show, Duff also recently had the opportunity to work with Daniel Kaluuya, LaKeith Stanfield and Jesse Plemons in “Judas and the Black Messiah.”

CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith caught up with Duff to discuss what it is like to book his first spot as a series regular, why “The Republic of Sarah” has found a passionate fanbase and the things he learn on the set of “Judas and the Black Messiah.”

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“It’s been new and it has been enlightening,” said Duff. “I feel like a rookie and I’m here taking in all the information and trying to get better every day. I’m a former athlete and I look at it as working out every day. It’s been an absolute blast. I think the show is great and I hope viewers feel the same. It’s different, it’s original and it is about human interaction. It’s about real people and a small town and the relationships are really important. This is stepping stone in a new direction.”

Duff thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work with actors like Stella Baker and Luke Mitchell and he says the entire cast brought out the best in him. In addition to the intriguing storyline of the series, Duff enjoyed exploring the many different layers of his character Grover.

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“Grover is a much better man than I am. He is selfless and he doesn’t take things too personally,” said Duff. “He is supporter and he is a friend. He knows how to compartmentalize and put the focus on other people. As the show goes on, people will see what happens when you take time to focus on yourself and deal with your traumas and confront them. That’s something that I was able to take away from Grover into my own personal life.”

The actor had the chance to spend seven months learning the ins and outs of his character Grover while shooting the series in Montreal. Duff has started to get recognized by people around town for his role, including his dentist. It’s been a big year for Duff with this show on The CW and a movie that got a ton of buzz in “Judas and the Black Messiah.”

“It was an amazing group of artists and the only way we were able to do that film was through a bond and through an understanding that we are here to work,” said Duff. “It gradually happened and we became a family on that set and on that project. We were dealing with heavy topics and dealing with history. We had Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. on set, we had Mama Aku on set, we had Black Panthers on set every day. It was an absolute honor and the work speaks for itself.”

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Watch “The Republic of Sarah” on The CW Network.