Comedian Mike E. Winfield is expanding his artistic horizons. “I just shot a movie with rapper DMX and Keke Palmer,” he reports. “My role in the movie is a straight-up gangster. It’s not silly stuff, it’s a real movie that has tears and emotions. It was fun.” After seeing a test screening, Winfield was even more pleased with his performance. “I like how I came across in the film,” he says. “As much as I love comedy, I love that I’m performing in a drama. It legitimizes me in the acting world.” On the comedy front, Winfield is about to shoot his first hour-long special. “People need to know me on the hour scale of comedy,” he insists. “A lot of people know me from five minutes here and five minutes there, but they don’t know the hour that I do, and that’s what tells my story.” Years ago, Winfield told City Pages that he was reluctant to do an hour, fearing he would look back on it in a few years and think it was terrible. “I feel ready,” he states. “I’ll keep growing, of course, but I like where I am right now.” 18+.