I draw people—I need to be able to take inspiration from many different kinds of people, from all walks of life, that are all part of my life. That just comes naturally to me. If the opportunity presents itself, then I will do just that.
The show’s cast is huge, from actors in different worlds to musicians to writers and writers. Would you say that your voice is like yours and that you don’t just use your voice on the show?
Yes, it’s more or less identical. I could sit down and say, “I want to do a piece about The Wire.” That’s pretty much my role. But what I love about the writing of our work on a show like this is that every week someone comes into the show with a new experience that they’ve had on the show that can contribute to the show as a whole.
When you go to an episode of The Wire and you see Omar [Chaudhry], you go, “Oh my god, that guy’s great.” You see someone like John C. McGinley, whom we had on the show, and you immediately see the talent of this guy. There’s just so much more depth here than you see on screen when a single actor comes in. You can get so much from every part of a character. I think, because of these characters all having so much depth, we’re able to create a show that’s just as strong for everybody as it is for them.
Speaking of being on set you mentioned there is something in the DNA of the show that appeals to you as a person of color.
It’s definitely a part of the DNA! It’s not something I’d be surprised someone found out about from the casting that I’m playing—I was surprised. It’s something that’s not particularly special to me. I certainly don’t think it means a thing to anybody but I’ve never said, “Well, I’m black, so maybe that really is a part of what I find valuable about playing this role.” I think everybody will realize at some point that there are elements of the character as well as the character itself that make them interesting to other people.
The Wire is an old-school crime drama set in Baltimore, which is still a vibrant city. The show is about corruption, addiction and racial inequity, and the people involved in these crimes seem to have it in the guts to stand up against these very powerful people. In an interview with The
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