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Subject: "An Evening with "The Wire"" This topic is locked.
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jonz mahone
Member since May 28th 2007
5576 posts
Tue Sep-04-07 08:47 PM

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"An Evening with "The Wire""


  

          

You must be a member to see a webcast?!

-Saw news of this on HBO's The Buzz

http://www.emmys.tv/events/indexiframe_eventgalls.php (scroll down)

Does anyone know of any other links to view this? Or would anyone happen to have print transcript of this?

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
So, because I couldn't nab video... (swipe) (Part 1)
Sep 10th 2007
1
(Part 2)
Sep 10th 2007
2
(Part 3)
Sep 10th 2007
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(Part 4)
Sep 10th 2007
4
(Part 5)
Sep 10th 2007
5
(Part 6)
Sep 10th 2007
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(Part 7)
Sep 10th 2007
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(Part 8)
Sep 10th 2007
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(Part 9)
Sep 10th 2007
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(Part 10)
Sep 10th 2007
10
(Part 11)
Sep 10th 2007
11
(Part 12)
Sep 10th 2007
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(Part 13)
Sep 10th 2007
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(Part 14)
Sep 10th 2007
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(Part 15)
Sep 10th 2007
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(Part 16)
Sep 10th 2007
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(Part 17)
Sep 10th 2007
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*bookmarks* THANK YOU ZOOTOWN74!
Sep 10th 2007
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I hereby take back most mean things that I've ever said about you
Sep 10th 2007
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Thanks! I'm rewatching the series right now
Sep 10th 2007
20
Kudos...
Sep 10th 2007
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anybody got a link to the video?
Sep 10th 2007
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Thank you ZooTown. n/m
Sep 11th 2007
23
Wow! Damn man, thanks for posting this!!!!
Sep 11th 2007
24

ZooTown74
Member since May 29th 2002
43582 posts
Mon Sep-10-07 02:02 PM

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1. "So, because I couldn't nab video... (swipe) (Part 1)"
In response to Reply # 0
Mon Sep-10-07 02:21 PM by ZooTown74

  

          

(btw, please keep this joint in-house... no ctrl-c, ctrl-v ing of this all over the Interwebs, please? Thank you...)


>* applause *

Ladies and Gentlemen, please help me welcome the cast and creative team of The Wire: Deirdre Lovejoy (Rhonda), Seth Gilliam (Carver), Jamie Hector (Marlo), Michael Kenneth Williams (Omar), Sonja Sohn (Kima), Ed Burns (Co-Creator/Executive Producer), David Simon (Co-Creator/Executive Producer), Carolyn Strauss (President, HBO Entertainment), Ernest Dickerson (Director), Alexa Fogel (Casting), Wendell Pierce (Bunk), Andre Royo who will be arriving shortly (Bubbles), Jim True-Frost (Prez), Chad Coleman (Cutty), Robert Wisdom (Colvin), and our moderator for the evening, Howard Rosenberg.

* applause *

Howard Rosenberg: Thank you, everybody, for being here tonight. And I’m delighted to be here, as I’m sure you are, because The Wire is like a stratospheric series, and I know you want to celebrate it as I do. I (feel)… along with The Sopranos, maybe Prime Suspect on PBS, (that) this (show) really represents the best of television. I… I can’t ever think of seeing anything that’s any better. Maybe Charlie’s Angels…

* applause *
* laughter *

HR: Maybe Petticoat Junction. And you’ll notice we have… (to Ed Burns) Yes, my laugh lines… you’ll notice we have one empty chair, and that’s Andre Royo’s chair. As you know, he plays Bubs, and it’s very hard pushing that cart through L.A. traffic…

* laughter *

HR: … so, give this guy a break. I’m going to be walking around, sort of like Donahue so I can face the panel. The first question I have, though, is for David Simon. And I’ve always thought of this series as much less a police procedural than a power procedural. It’s about people attaining power, retaining power, losing power, and why they do that. Am I on the right track?

David Simon: I think so. Um… I would say the star of the show is really the city, in this case of Baltimore, but it’s a stand-in for a lot of American cities. And it’s how power and uh, powerlessness route itself through a modern city. So, I’d say yeah, you’re on the right track.

HR: Oh, that’s good. Uh, it also seems to me that morally, the police, the government, and the druggers are almost morally interchangeable. I mean, that’s… if that’s true, that’s really a dark view of life, isn’t it?

DS: I would say it’s realistic. I don’t think… I mean, I think a lot of our entertainment industry, and a lot of what we call our entertainments, a lot of it is rooted in the idea of Good vs. Evil. And we’re really grounded in that as a culture. And I’m less interested… I know Ed and the other writers are all a lot less interested in the idea of Good vs. Evil as a theme. I think it’s not only been overstated but it’s been done to death. We’re sort of interested in why people, uh, are in the situation they’re in and what the inevitabilities are of the systems we’ve constructed. It’s more about systems.
______________________________________________________________________
This ain't a scene
it's a
got
damn
arms
race

  

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ZooTown74
Member since May 29th 2002
43582 posts
Mon Sep-10-07 02:03 PM

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2. "(Part 2)"
In response to Reply # 0
Mon Sep-10-07 02:17 PM by ZooTown74

  

          

> HR: And in trying to depict that, do you… do you understand that this has been an exploratory process on the part of you and the rest of the production team and the writers, in terms of understanding society as you want to depict it?

DS: Uh, we do our best. I mean, we’re, uh, we’re not academics. Ed was a police detective for 20 years…

Ed Burns: That proves that I’m a… (inaudible)

DS: Yeah, he’s the anti-academic. And (Ed was also) a teacher for 7 (years), and I was a newspaper reporter, and the other writers were all, uh, from the prose world, they’re novelists. So what we’re looking at is a bunch of people who were not supposed to have a TV show. And, uh, we’re also writing from a place in America that is actually, forgive me, but a little more indicative of America than say, West L.A. or the island of Manhattan. So, we’re not of this industry and yet, we’ve sort of stumbled into it and HBO gave us this home, or this window, and we’ve crawled through it. But, um, we’ve done our best to learn our city, and we’re all either rooted in Baltimore or in other post Rust Belt cities of the country.

HR: So you’re saying South Baltimore’s different than West L.A. is what you’re saying.

DS: A little bit.

HR: Okay.

DS: Although we did get our first Starbucks. We’re trying to catch up.

HR: Uh, Carolyn, when you first encountered this series, was it a slam-dunk or did you have any reservations at all?

Carolyn Strauss: Uh, well, I think it was a lot of different things from the start. At first it was 9 episodes, over and out. And, so it was a miniseries—

EB: Really?

CS (to EB): Yeah. It was done, kind of.

EB: I never knew that.

CS: Yeah.

* laughter *

CS: Like, here it is, 9 episodes… it was like, basically, well, this could go on, you know. Then we talked about… but the thing that was most perplexing—

DS: Our show was killed, and we didn’t know it.

CS: No, no, no. That was your idea, pal.

DS: I was pitching The Corner then.

CS: No, I was not in The Corner conversations.

DS: Reall… I said 9 and out?

CS: Yeah.

DS: I was lying.

* laughter *

CS: The first and only time. Um…

DS: Apparently.

CS: And then, our biggest reservation is, why would we be in this arena of a cop show. I mean, the networks have them down, locked down. And David wrote this, as I learned he loves to do, this impassioned letter – single type, many pages…

* DS laughs *

CS: … about… that was exactly the reason we should be doing a cop show. It was sort of the most subversive thing for HBO was to take a traditional network arena and see what HBO could do with it. So… but, um, and ultimately, it was just the quality of the material that allayed everybody’s fears.

HR: Were you worried at all that, well, first of all, HBO, even though many of us feel, is head and shoulders above the rest of television, but still, uh, you had stockholders, TimeWarner has stockholders, you have to achieve a certain level of audience. Were you worried at all that this show would be seen by white mainstream viewers as “just another black gangster show” and might turn them off?

CS: Um, that isn’t really how we approached it. I mean, I think the themes that David was talking about, the way he had constructed the scripts and the shows, were of such a specific kind of quality, that we’re just… you know, our philosophy is let’s try and put it out there and see what comes to it. And it, you know, there is a core audience for The Wire that is incredibly loyal to the show.

______________________________________________________________________
This ain't a scene
it's a
got
damn
arms
race

  

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ZooTown74
Member since May 29th 2002
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Mon Sep-10-07 02:05 PM

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3. "(Part 3)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

>HR: Well, let’s get everybody involved now. What I’d like to do is ask every member of the cast how he or she got into the show, and have you, Alexa, comment a little later on any of their readings or their auditions that were especially—

Wendell Pierce: Aww, shh…

* Deirdre Lovejoy guffaws *

HR: … memorable to you. As long as you keep it clean. Okay.

WP: I wanna hear this.

HR: Robert Wisdom.

RW: Oh, wow. Um, yeah, well, actually, if… if I’m right about this, I think I went up for The Corner that David and Ed did for HBO. And uh, that went well, but I wound up taking another film. And, um, maybe two years later, I was down in New Orleans doing the movie Ray and this call came through for an audition for The Wire. And I was a HUGE fan of the show. And, uh, I told my manager, I said, “Don’t screw this up.” You know.

* laughter *

RW: So, uh, and then I think, you know, I think we went on tape, and then, blah blah blah, and you know, there was this whole process of auditioning, but when it came through, it was like… (shakes head) you know… but then, I wasn’t sure… you know, the actor’s disease is that you never think you’re good enough. And so I figure the first day I’m walking into Baltimore, these guys, like, are so hardcore that are in the show, so I said, “Ah, they’re going to fire me, I don’t know,” and they give you so little direction. So, I’m in my trailer, and Ed and uh, the great Bob (Colesberry), came into the trailer that morning and they kind of grilled me. And, uh… * laughs * (they) grilled me in their very understated way, um, with a welcome, and just sized me up. And that was about it. And then, that was in the second season, the end of second season. Um… but it was a pretty straightforward thing. But all I know is, like, I had no idea what was in store for this character at that point. Um… and, and it came full blossom in the year of reform, year three of the show. And it’s been one of the greatest characters I’ve had a chance to play.

HR: Alright, Chad.

Chad Coleman: Yeah, um, well, I was one of those actors that watched the show all the time, and was like, “They ain’t never gonna cast me.” * laughs * “It’s good, but…”

* laughter *

CC: So, initially, I did a reading with Idris at the Public Theater in New York.

HR: That’s Idris Elba, who…

CC: That’s correct.

HR… played Stringer Bell.

Michael K. Williams: The LATE Stringer Bell.

* laughter *

CC: That’s right, he’s dead, he’s dead, he’s dead. Um… and when we finished, he said, “Man, you know you could be on that show, easy.” So…

* laughter from the panel*

CC: That’s what he said to me, I’m just being honest, really. This is the path.

* laughter *

CC: A year later, I came in to audition for some other show. And (Alexa) did a… kinda… (tilts head)… head to the side. When I finished the audition I was like, “Oh, boy, that must have been terrible.” But I think she was sizing me up to see if I could come in for this new character that they were developing but there was no, uh, sides (lines actors use during an audition) for. And so then I went on tape, and David and Ed, they called me in, and… I truly feel like I had an out-of-body experience in the room. I really appreciated that they directed me. You know, I did the first scene, and we talked. And I had said to myself before going in, “Please, I hope they direct me,” you know. So, it was um… once we talked a little bit, it was just strange, man. I forgot… every line went out of my head before they told me to do that scene. And then it just… happened, so, that’s how it was for me. I think, you know… there’s a lot of vulnerability to the character, you know. I don’t know if people really see it, but there’s… there’s something about him that’s incredibly vulnerable that I think I connected to, that strength and vulnerability balance. And it worked out.

HR: And you’re not having an out-of-body experience now, that’s in the past, right?

* CC laughs *

HR: Alright, Jim.

Jim True-Frost: Yeah, I was cast, um, at the point where the pilot had already been shot, um, and they were looking for my character, Detective Pryzbylewski, and a few others to start the season, the first season. I um, was blissfully unaware of how… what the potential for the show was, and, and uh, I think I would have been paralyzed if I had the experience that Chad had of having watched a season of the show.

CC: Mmm hmm.

JTF: But I just, you know, was thinking that maybe it was just another police procedural, so I was, you know, pointing my gun and screaming, “Get down on the floor, get down on the floor!”

* laughter *

JTF: And I think they thought I was just enough of a lunatic to play Pryzbylewski.

* laughter *

JTF: Um, they also, at that point, I think, um, knew just enough of me, because I had done an episode of Homicide, um, to again know that I was, you know, sort of in this weird, kind of loser-ry, but some kind of weird potential…

* laughter *

JTF: … um, character. That was the kind of guy I played on this episode of Homicide. Both Clark… Clark Johnson was directing the pilot, and he had acted with me in the episode of Homicide. And David, and I think Bob Colesberry, too, both remembered me from that. So that was my introduction to them and that’s how I landed on the show.
______________________________________________________________________
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it's a
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ZooTown74
Member since May 29th 2002
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Mon Sep-10-07 02:05 PM

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4. "(Part 4)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

>HR: Okay, Wendell Pierce.

WP: Um, I was very early on. Uh… and I had this impression that the show was about… Bunk Moreland…

* laughter *

WP (“thinking”): … “I wonder who this white detective is going to be…”

* laughter *

WP (“thinking”): “It’s very interesting, they’ve never really done a show about a black detective before…”

* laughter *

WP: I mean, there was no one in the waiting area, and stuff like that, and Alexa was like, “We finally get to do something together,” and I was like, so happy, and (thinking) “Who is this Dominic West? I’ll read with him…” And Dominic and I had a… and I read with Dominic for Bob Colesberry and David. And uh, I’ll never forget, you know, I came in, and… I had been, you know, cast. And, uh… Dominic came in off-book (without a script), he was ready. And I wasn’t. I was like, uh… (mimes reading a script)

* laughter *

WP: And uh… and he would, he would, it was really wonderful because Dominic was very self-assured and he said, “Yes, you know, Bunk, I’m going to do, uh, we’re gonna come back and uh… what’s that line?” He would always call for line and I was like, “Well, the line is like this, and…” you know. And I really think the way we played off of each other, with me prompting him for his audition… uh…

* laughter *

WP: … captured the drunken stupor that Bunk and McNulty…

* laughter *

WP: … finds in the bar, and then David and Bob said, “Yeah, those two.”

* laughter *

CC: No brainer.

HR: Okay, Sonja.

Sonja Sohn: Um, actually, I had a bit of a relationship with Alexa first. Um, I had come to know Alexa back in ’98, and she became a fan of mine after I did, um, an independent film, and uh, tried to cast me in Oz. And, um, I came in and I completely flubbed that audition, and she said, “I think (Oz show runner) Tom (Fontana’s) gonna love you. We gotta get you to do something.” She said, “Ah, how about a poem?” I was like, “Okay, I got a poem.” * laughs * In this film (Slam), I had, um, played a writing teacher and I had done some poetry, and she knew that. And so, uh, you know, I did this poem, and uh, Tom didn’t go for it, you know…

* laughter *

SS: … and you know, my first HBO opportunity just, you know, flew out the window. And about a year or so went by, and uh, we had gotten to know each other. I had been, you know, coming in and auditioning for her for a while. And I gotta say, um, I was really, really green, um, back then, and Alexa really nurtured me through my auditions, because she just felt something, you know, from me. And I will never forget that.

* applause *

SS: Um, she gave me a chance, really, and, uh, you know, I owe a lot to her. And that’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m here.

HR: Michael.

* applause *
(Michael smiles)

RW: Omar’s comin’, Omar’s comin’…

CC: Right?

MKW: I came… like Jim, I came to The Wire, they were already on their third episode, and like Sonja I had a relationship with Alexa from trying to get on the Oz cast for a couple years. And um, uh, she called me one day and said she had a role she wanted me to come in for. She faxed me the breakdown, and I just remember reading it, you know… “Openly Gay Homo Thug.”

* laughter *

MKW: I was like, “Right, this is it!”

* laughter *

MKW: I went in, I put myself on tape with Alexa, and she sent it out to Baltimore. And next thing I knew, David and Ed and (producer) Nina (Kostroff-Noble) just gave me my call time to go to Baltimore, and that pretty much was it.

HR: Just start blowing people away after that. Okay, Jamie.

Jamie Hector: Hey. Well…

* applause *

JH: How y’all doin’? I was… my manager, Ally, she actually cut the TV on, and she said, she saw the show, she called me and told me to turn it on. I looked, and she said, “We’re going to get you on that show. You gotta get on that show.” So, I did a film called Five Deep Breaths, and… I don’t know, Seith Mann, he directed, he got it to… his agent got it to Alexa Fogel or the production company, and Ally walked up to the casting director and knocked on her door, and gave (the film) to Alexa’s assistant. He calls up, and from what he told Ally, he calls up and tells (Alexa), “You have to see this short film.” She says she already has it, but she was out of town. Then they both watched it, and then before you know it, Alexa’s calling me to audition for everything she’s casting for. So I’m in her office at least 12 times….

* laughter *

JH: … back and forth… “I want you to audition for a cat.”/“Alright, let’s go.”

* laughter *

JH: EVERYTHING she called me for. And then so, The Wire came up. And then she called me in and she said, “Listen, you read for this,” and it was for the part of Cutty. I read for it, and…

CC: I didn’t know that.

* laughter *

CC: Yes, I did, that’s my boy, I knew about that.

JTF: He didn’t get it, though.

RW: Exactly…

* laughter *

JH: So, they turned around and said I was too young for that, so they gave… so I read for another part—

CC: Whoa, whoa, easy, easy, easy… easy, boy…

* laughter *

CC: Easy… I got people out there…

* laughter *

JH: My fault. So they said I was too OLD for it, but…

* laughter *

JH: … my man… and then, um, I read for that part, then I met with the producers, and then we went down to Baltimore, and Andre (Royo) said, “Yo, Jamie, they got something serious set up for you, man.” You know, Andre Royo who plays Bubbles…

HR: Yeah, yeah, he’s not here. The invisible man. Yeah.

JH: … and he said they got something lined up for the cat, for Marlo. And I was like, wow. And it was a go from there.
______________________________________________________________________
This ain't a scene
it's a
got
damn
arms
race

  

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ZooTown74
Member since May 29th 2002
43582 posts
Mon Sep-10-07 02:06 PM

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5. "(Part 5)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

>HR: Alright, Seth.

Seth Gilliam: I, uh, I had originally auditioned for the role of Stringer Bell. I’d known a…

(Seth grins)

* laughter *

SG: Yeah… I had known Alexa from having worked on Oz before (* some applause *), and I’d thought of Stringer Bell, I guess um… (to audience) yeah, Oz, Oz in the house?

* applause *

SG: And um, I’d gone in to read for Stringer Bell, I guess she wanted to just break up the monotony of, you know, the audition process. So I went in there…

* laughter *

SG: … gave them a good laugh…

* laughter *

SG: “Try this one…”

* laughter *

SG: So, um, so then I read for, uh, Carver. And I remember being intimidated because the description of the character was that he was this really short guy who’s built like a fire hydrant, you know, and he was supposed to be this very physically imposing and intimidating, but, you know, small kind of mad dog type of thing is what I had gotten. And I was like, “Well, I don’t really see anybody being scared of me. I guess I’ll… GET LOUD.”

* laughter *

SG: And it worked, so I was like, “YEAH, MAN!” (mimes “What the fuck?”)

* laughter *

SG: Got the job, so…

* laughter *

SG: … it worked.

HR: Okay. Deirdre, did you also audition for Stringer Bell, or…

* laughter *

Deirdre Lovejoy: I auditioned for Bunk.

HR: For Bunk.

* laughter *

DL: Um…

WP: Hey, watch it, now…

DL: I still think that they meant to cast Deirdre O’Connell. And then I walked in, and the were like, “Oh, we got the wrong Deirdre.” Um, I, um, I don’t… Alexa has been responsible for all of the best jobs I’ve ever gotten… um…

* applause *

DL: I… I… it’s true. Um, so, I remember getting a call from my agent saying there’s this new HBO series and there are two women that are regulars on it. And I was like, (* mimes phone skepticism *) “Yeah, two women, on a…” oh, and one of them’s, uh, black or of color, they’re not sure, but probably not a white girl. “Oh, I’m going to be the only white girl on a new HBO show. I’m sure, fine.” So, I walked into the, um, waiting area, and saw, uh, you know, all of the people that Alexa had called in, which were, you know, Tony Award winners and famous people and the girl that was in the well in Silence of the Lambs, whatever her name is…

* laughter *

DL: … and I was like, “I don’t have a shot in hell at this, so I’m just going to visit with my friend Wendy McKenna.” So I sat there and just, I really thought there was no chance at all, so I think the result is I ran in it so relaxed, and I just did the audition, and had one callback, uh, which was for Robert Colesberry and David and Clark Johnson, and I remember it was the one… I was, I was on the patch… for… the, to stop (smoking), you know, the patch…

* laughter *

DL: … and they went to put the mic on me and it started to rub on the patch, and I was like, “DON’T TAKE OFF MY PATCH!”

* laughter *

DL: And I think it was just a moment of all the stars collide, you know, lining up, for some reason. If I… that’s her… it was total luck. It really, really was.
______________________________________________________________________
This ain't a scene
it's a
got
damn
arms
race

  

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ZooTown74
Member since May 29th 2002
43582 posts
Mon Sep-10-07 02:07 PM

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6. "(Part 6)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

>* applause as Andre Royo shows up and pimps across the stage to his seat and sits as the cast teases him*

Andre Royo: So sorry, so sorry. I was getting beat up out in front, you know…

* laughter *

HR: Welcome, Andre. We were just…

(Andre looks around, confused)

WP: Everybody was waiting for you…

* laughter *

AR: Okay, alright…

HR: Everyone was just relating how they got their roles.

AR: Right, right…

HR: And you happened to walk in just in time.

AR: Yeah, the applause was for Deirdre.

DL: ... totally had me fooled. Thanks, Dre.

AR: Hopefully we have a love scene next season, maybe.

* laughter *

AR: I’m next.

* laughter *

* guffaws *

HR: So, tell us how you got this role.

AR: Oh, okay. Um… well, I was good friends with Alexa Fogel, and I was trying real hard, I was trying real hard to impress her and get on Oz. But they said I was a little too skinny and too small for Oz.

* laughter *

AR: I only had two choices on Oz, and they were both… very perverted.

* laughter *

AR: So, when that didn’t work out, you know, I met Tom, and was talking to him, and you know, he got perverted, it was real bad…

* laughter *

AR: … and then, my agent had said (HBO) was starting this new series called The Wire. And I said, you know, is it anything to do with jail, and they said, no.

* laughter *

AR: Just some of it, you know. And, uh, I went in, and I was feeling gre… I remember getting a call, and I was, at first nervous because they said I was going to be playing a junkie. And, you know, first thing on your mind is like, “Aw, a black man, a junkie, this is… this is not the way to go.” But, you know, my pockets were empty, and, you know, that’s not the way to go, either…

* laughter *

AR: So, you know, I did my homework, read the lines, you know, practiced, and studied. And I walked into the room, and it was just a ton of people in there, acting like junkies, and I got real scared.

* laughter *

AR: And when I get scared, you know, I start to mumble a lot….

* laughter *

AR: … so, when I went the room, I was mumbling all over the place, my lines. And they were looking at me like, (whispering) “I think he’s high right now.”

* laughter *

AR: But, you know, there was something about my presence, and I remember Clark Johnson, and I did the scene, and Clark was looking at me and was like, “You can act, huh? You can act.” And I was like, “I (mumbles)”

* laughter *

AR: And I remember Ed Burns and David Simon sitting in the back, looking, and they were just, you know, thinking about it and everything. And Alexa Fogel had her head down next to the guy filming me, and you know, they thought about it, and I left. I felt good. And, you know, I got a call saying, “We like you… so we’re going to California just to look again.”

* laughter *

AR: “So just, just maybe.” And I was like, “Alright.” Then they, you know, went to California, and then they called me back after about a couple of weeks, and said, you know, I booked the part. And I was like, real excited. My wife was packing to go to California. And they were like, “No, in Baltimore.”

* laughter *

AR: So, my wife unpacked…

* laughter *

AR: … and was like, “Yo, see you later. Make sure you come back every weekend with a check.”

* laughter *

* applause *

AR: So, that was it. (to Alexa) So thank you, thank you very much.
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ZooTown74
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7. "(Part 7)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

>HR: Well, uh, Alexa, and David, weigh in on this if you’d like, uh, but you cast, uh, a lot of people, I think, uh, for roles who either had very limited experience or no experience, people from Baltimore. Uh, why did you do that, and secondly, Ernest, how difficult was it directing people who had not had a lot of experience as actors? Alexa?

Alexa Fogel: Well, I don’t cast the people in Baltimore, Pat Moran does that, so…

HR: Okay.

AF: … I can’t actually address that. But David can probably address working…

DS: Right. We found, on The Corner, um, that by putting real people, in supporting roles, in a show like this where you’re really trying for almost a hyper-realism, um… it leavens everybody’s performance. It makes you really feel like you’re in Baltimore. Uh, it… it doesn’t, uh, uh, you know, you can go too far and there’s a lot to be said for trained actors. Um, so… I’m going to hesitate to say it now in front of (the panel’s) heads, but um… there’s a lot to be said for the craft of acting, and you can’t ask people who have not trained to take too big a turn. But here and there, if you put a trained actor in a milieu where you’re surrounding them with people who have actually lived the event…

(Ed Burns laughs)

DS: … something happens. I know Robert (Colesberry) would laugh… cause we put him in one scene where he was, like, everywhere he turned there was no one, nobody he could work with but…

* laughter *

DS: … somebody who had actually been a drug slinger, you know, it’s like, “Can I get another actor to work off?”/”No, you can’t.” But, um…

* laughter *

DS: … but up to a point it really does make it feel like the real world, because, you know what? Um, this is… (it’s as) if you’re taking pieces of the real world, you know, human animate pieces, and saying, “Be part of this movie.” Um, to that I’d like to sort of throw it to Ed with… I mean, I think our greatest triumph in this is a guy that Ed, uh… actually, Ed and I met over this guy, and that I was police newspaper reporter, and I was trying to do a series of articles on him cause he had such a huge long career as a drug trafficker. And he made parole about the time The Wire was kicking up, (to Ed) right, maybe a couple a years into the show? So I mean, that was one of the greatest lunches I ever went to. So, I’m gonna throw it to you.

(Ed Burns stares at him)

DS: Tell the story.

(Ed Burns looks away)

DS: Throw it out there. As only you can.

(Ed clears his throat)

Ed Burns: I read for Stringer Bell.

* laughter *

EB: And Bubbles.

* laughter *

EB: Um… because I knew those guys, and I knew (former dealer) Melvin Williams, who plays our deacon. And um, I knew a Cutty, and uh, I didn’t know a Bob Wisdom-type character, but, I’m sure they were out there. Um… for me, I used to be a cop, and one of the cool things was is, I put a lot of these people in jail, and they really didn’t like me. And, um, then I get on The Wire, and they all like me…

* laughter *

EB:… kind of a strange thing, but um... um… I think the great thing about the show is it does mix the quality of actors. I mean, to write for people like this is relatively easy. And we can mix those with, uh, people who are not quite as experienced, and everybody seems to rise because of it, and I think that’s basically, um, one of the secrets of our show.
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ZooTown74
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8. "(Part 8)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

>HR: Well, David, I know one actress that a lot of people are curious about is Felicia Pearson, who plays Snoop…

* applause *

HR: … the hit… the hit girl. And when I was told she wasn’t going to be here I was relieved cause she scares the hell out of me.

* laughter *

HR: How was she cast?

DS: I should turn that to Michael. Let Michael tell that story.

AR: Michael K. Williams.

DS: You can start the story, anyway. (looks in other direction) Oh, sorry, wrong way.

* laughter *

HR: Michael.

MKW: I met Felicia at a bar in Baltimore. It was like, 1:30 in the morning, and the waitress was not getting to VIP in time for last calls, so I tied up my booth and said, okay, I’ma man this crowd and go to the bar myself and get my own drink, you know? So, that’s what I was doing, and she came up to me at the bar and was like, you know, “Hey, you know, I love your work on The Wire…” she didn’t ask me for anything, she just told me she loved the work and she gave me a compliment. So, um, I was like, you know, thanks, and I was trying to get away and was like, “Oh, my God, who let this little boy in the club?” And…

* laughter *

MKW: … authorities, I don’t want them to think I bought her in here…

* laughter *

MKW: … and they throw both of us out, I’m trying to get my last call in. So, I was like, you know, I was really trying to get away from her. And she… she saw that I didn’t lock into her the way she… I don’t know, she just saw that I didn’t really get it. And so, she, um, cause she’s naturally just… just very androgynous, doesn’t have to try to do anything. So, she grabbed me and said, “I got something to tell you,” (and) I’m like, “What?” She said, “Well, I’m a girl, it’s my 25th birthday and I just came home.” And, like, this, this light, I had this epiphany, and I was… I started staring at her. Then, all of a sudden, she was like, “Back up, now!”

* laughter *

MKW: “Wait a minute. Back up!”

* laughter *

MKW: I was just… I just… I fell in love with her, and she… I just, um, I just, you know, I gave her my number, I begged her to please call me the next day, just… I can’t even really remember what it is I saw. I just… when she told me she was a young lady…

* laughter *

MKW: … and um…

* laughter *

AR: That was it!

MKW: … it just really… I just wanted to just really… I saw a lot of pain in her eyes. I saw the, um, I saw the struggle instantly, and I just wanted to grab her and just say, “I got you.” And the best way I could do that without offending her was just to give her my number and tell her to call me, I think I could… I think I got a job for you. And I prayed like Hell that weekend, and I… I just… I just hope that she didn’t… she didn’t scare Ed and David (* laughs *). But, um, I bought… I bought ‘em to her, and they saw what I did, and when I spoke to Ed again, I was like, I didn’t hear anything from this… they had a meeting, I didn’t hear anything about this… the meeting, you know, nobody call… got back to me, so I was kinda scared, like, “Did she kill ‘em?” (* laughs *)

* laughter *

MKW: And um, I called… I remember calling Ed, and I asked, uh, Ed, “What you think? Did you like her?” And I just remember him saying, “Thank you.” He thanked me for, um, bringing… bringing her to the family. And that’s gotta be one of the most, um, the most beautiful feelings I’ve ever felt, that… is when they accepted her, received her.

* applause *

MKW: And I gotta say, um, although… I must say, though, although, yeah, I… I met her in the streets of Baltimore, she’s never done this kind of work before. Um, she’s, um… she rose to the occasion like nobody I’ve (ever) seen, and now she’s working with Robert Chew, who plays Proposition Joe. Robert Chew has a theater company in Baltimore, and a lot of the kids on the show come through his company. So now Felicia’s with him, and she studies, and, um… I’m just… I’m just… I’m just really proud to be in her life. Yeah.

* applause *

HR: Well, I had asked you earlier, uh, Ernest, about… directing people who didn’t have a lot of experience. Is that a difficult thing to do?

Ernest Dickerson: Um, it’s something that… when I started my career as a director, I had actors that didn’t have a lot of experience. My first film, um, we brought in a young guy named Tupac Shakur, who had never done anything before…

* applause *

SS: Mmm hmm, Juice.

ED: … and, uh, and a lot of the… and uh… Omar Epps had never done anything before; he was still in high school. So, you know, it’s, it’s finding people who know who that character is. And when I came on board The Wire that was the great thing about it. Even though they didn’t have the experience, they know… they knew who their character was. And uh, and, you know, (there’s) a lot of life experience in there too, you know, which, which they tap into and everything. But um, I found out that actually, all I had to do was just set up the situation and get out of the way.
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ZooTown74
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9. "(Part 9)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

HR: Well, you mentioned life experience, and I’m really interested to find out the line separating, in this series, fiction and reality. Ed, you mentioned, uh, your own experiences in meeting characters similar to the ones that are in the show. And after you were, uh, a cop, you became a schoolteacher. And, in this series, we have a middle school where, if acts… if education breaks out, it seems to be an accident almost. How close is Prez’s experience to your experience as a teacher?

EB: Um, not close at all. Um, Prez was a new teacher, and kind of… kinda lost, and um… I met a lot of teachers like that. And the first year teachers are always struggling. Um… I always thought of the classroom as a boxing match. You go in, and if you don’t get the first punch in, you… you lose. So, you know, I went in and got the first punch in, I kept punching, and that’s what I called education. And uh…

* laughter *

EB: … so… at the end of the day, you know, the kids would leave, I would leave, and, you know, we’d… we’d start again tomorrow. But, um, the wonderful thing about it was is that we had a chance, through the kids that we got and through Prez and… Jim, um, to sort-of give you a little feeling of what those kids, uh, go through, which is, um, pretty profound. And um, uh, I think the show came as close dramatically of capturing something like that as you can capture.

HR: Well, again, going back to, uh, to the reality of the situation, how… how close is this, David, to the way government really operates in Baltimore? How close is this to the way cops really operate? How close is this (to) the way the drug scene really operates?

DS: All of the procedure is correct for Baltimore and for what actually occurs. That said, it’s fiction. Um, I guess the distinction I would make is all of these things… some of these things may have actually happened. Uh, some of these things were rumored to have happened, uh, in a street sense. And all of these things could have happened, but not often did. It’s probably the way to say what The Wire is about. Um, we’re very interested in how the city functions, or doesn’t function. And so, we take very careful notes, (and) when we don’t know something… none of us, none of the writers knew anything about the port, for example, for season 2. So we spent several months before the season throwing ourselves at the ILA and the steamship trade and the Maryland Port Authority and saying, “Help us with your world. Tell us everything you can tell us.” And only in about the second or third month were you able to go up to these guys and say, “Okay, now how, how would you make a can disappear off the, you know, I mean heh, tell us the dirt.” And, um, the great thing about be… writing fiction is that… I mean, as a reporter, that was a very hard thing to get people to tell you the absol… everyone tells you their version of the truth that they want to sell when it’s non-fiction. When it’s fiction, everyone will open up a little more because the stakes aren’t as high, uh, at least to them. Um, but having said that, it’s… it’s important to remember that life is sort of anti-drama. If you think of your own lives, you can think of a lot of the people around you, a lot of days go by, um, and your life is not a perfectly-formed dramatic arc. Um, and that’s where… that’s where the craft comes in. You know, so we’re not doing a documentary. Everything, everything has to be a little bit, if not heightened, then at least truncated and shaped to make a plot, um, because much of life is a little bit plotless, uh, if you think about it. It’s… it’s, you know, one day to the next, I mean, it’s… you know, sometime… and sometimes where you think you’re going’s not where you’re going, and sometimes it’s ridiculously random, which is all very real but it doesn’t make for good drama. So, you know, bear that in mind. I mean, you know, it’s not as if all of the events in a single season of The Wire… they may have all happened (but) they probably didn’t happen in the span of 8 weeks.

HR: But at the same time, uh, the picture of the police is not entirely positive. The picture of the government, uh, process, is not entirely, uh, positive. How have these people responded to the show? Uh, standing ovation? Criticism?

DS: No, I mean, we’ve received criticism at the top rungs of city government, or at the top rungs of any institution we’ve depicted. But tellingly, the people who occupy a rank of either, sort of, foot soldier, in whatever they’re doing, up to maybe, mid-level management, are… are very affectionate about the show, and very aggressively supportive. And it’s usually that line between mid-level management and upper-level management, between the bosses, where the appeal of the show breaks down. And I think, I just think that’s telling. You know, this show, (when) we wrote the pilot, Enron was going on, the Catholic church scandal was going on, uh, the disastrous foreign policy, that has been pursued ever since, was just getting underway. It was not eas… it was not at all hard for us to conjure a world in which institutions betray those who they’re supposed to serve or are supposed to serve them. Um, that didn’t seem like a triumph of imagination for us, it seemed like documentarism. I mean, and it still does. I mean, I think that in some ways, we’ve understated just how, uh, how inevitable the decline of American empire is. And that’s really what The Wire is implying, and has been implying since the end of first season. Um, but it doesn’t, you know… to us, we think we’re being restrained. Um, it just feels a little different for people because… listen, you know, the ultimate trope of a cop show is, if you put the bad guys in jail at the end, something has been vindicated, and the system works. Um, and, you know, I mean, beginning with the fallacy that is the drug war, we don’t believe in that. So…
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ZooTown74
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10. "(Part 10)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

HR: Uh, my feeling about street dialogue is, if I don’t understand a word of it, it’s gotta be authentic…

* laughter *

HR: … and I have to tell you, as a huge fan of this show, there’s a lot of stuff I have no idea what they’re saying. And I think the genius of the writing is that it doesn’t make a lot of difference. But my question, to actors who play street characters, was this dialogue that you were familiar with, did you have to learn it, did you have to be coached? Michael.

MKW: I did a lot of research on the Baltimore dialect. Um, I had to go into the street. I… I listened. In fact, the first season, man, I just… “That’s gotta be a typo…”

* laughter *

MKW: … you know, but, um, as I… as I had the pleasure of meeting the city of Baltimore, you know, I’m not, you know, I’m not the kind of person to sit around in the hotel and be… we’re in the city, the city is my co-worker, the city is part of the show. I had to learn. I didn’t want Omar to be conceived as anything Brooklyn, or New York, or just not Baltimore. I didn’t want him dressing like anything except Baltimore. They have their own code, the way they dress, the way they lace their sneakers, to where they talk, the type of food they eat, and I just… I committed myself as best I can to all of that, and I wanted that dimension too. Me, personally, I worked very hard on that, (Baltimore accent) “To, do”… (* laughs *) I had to find it... I had to find it, yeah.

HR: Is that the same for you also, uh, Chad, Andre, and Jamie?

CC: Well, I was born in Richmond, VA. I spent a lot of time in the Baltimore/D.C. area, so there’s an aspect of my cadence that kinda slides in. So, um, no, I kinda just fell into it, you know? It wasn’t… (to Michael) I admire you for your work, brother…

* laughter *

CC: You know I do, Mike, I got mad respect. Um…

RW: Don’t make it look easy, baby…

CC: No, uh, well, you know what? I mean, I… I, you know, hey, I was drawing off some past experiences that helped resonate, and I’m a trained actor as well, so… I merged the two together.

* laughter *

WP: Good answer.

HR: Uh, Jamie.

JH: You know what, I read the script, and I spoke to Ed. I told him I wanted to go out into the field, he said, “Nope, don’t do it.” He said, “Don’t go out into the field, it’s too much going on out there.” I said alright, so I just immersed myself into that, and I just tried my best to understand it. It’s different, the way they speak, from Brooklyn, but, I mean, I took my time with it.

HR: Andre.

AR: Uh, they were just happy when they could understand me. They were just…

* laughter *

AR: … they were very happy when… I mean, I used to talk crazy, and they had to tell me, “Alright, slow it down. Be a little more articulate with some of the words,” you know.

* laughter *

AR: And then I hung out… I met a woman named Fran, who, I guess was the story, the point of story in The Corner.

HR: Yeah.

AR: And she was still around when we got out there, and I asked her--

HR: Yeah, Khandi Alexander, yeah.

AR: Well, I met the real Fran.

HR: Oh, the real Fran. Okay.

AR: Yes, the real Fran. And she took me out, you know, to the streets, and I went to a couple of rehab spots, and then I met a couple of, uh, people that she knew. And I really hung out with, uh, you know, people in the streets, and I just really had to get that feel of what the desperation, or the, the way it feels to be always hungry and looking for stuff. And I, I did certain things to get that kind of awareness, uh, embody that kind of awareness. As far as the tone, or the dialect, it was, you know, it was something that just after awhile, you just kinda catch an ear for it, and, you know, it kinda sticks sometimes. Sometimes, it goes, and, you know, I slur. When it goes, I mumble a little bit, and…

* laughter *

AR: … it all falls into place, you know, so…

WP: Also, I just wanted to share… people are so authentic about their study of human behavior, that in the first year, I’ll never forget that, uh, Dominic and I shot a scene where we arrested Bodie, in the middle of McCullough Homes, on a sofa. And we came up to the sofa, and arrested him, then we leave. And they called lunch. And we were walking to lunch and Dominic turned to me and said, “I thought we just did this scene.” And I said, “What do you mean?” And he said, “Cause the kid, the guys are on the sofa again.” I said, “Oh, no, those are the real guys.”

* laughter *

WP: Because, especially the first year, uh, there were… the hoffers were kind of… we kinda… we were at real places, so they would fold back into the set when we would go off…

* laughter *

AR: When we yelled cut, they went to work.

WP: Right. And uh, Dominic… I said, “Dominic, no, that’s… we’re not shooting this scene. This is the real deal.”

* laughter *

WP: And that’s just a tribute… and I say that because it’s a real tribute to the actors, you know, the actors, uh, on the show. I… uh, it’s a huge cast, so we don’t all work together all the time. Um, and, but… and we’re fans of the show also.

JH: Yeah.

WP: And I’ll never forget, I was sharing this with someone. I met the kids only at the wrap party. And, occasionally, you know, in the, in the makeup trailer. And it was, you know, (mimes handshakes) “Hello, Mr. Pierce,” and, “How ya doing,” and, you know, “I’m an honor roll student here,” and “I’m doing this…” And I was really concerned. I’m like, “These little actors, they’re not going to be able to play these characters.”

* laughter *

WP: And then I saw the (finished) show. And it’s a real tribute to them, because they are the complete opposite of the roles that they play. They’re really wonderful actors.

* applause *

WP: And I know they’re not here, so I just really wanted to say that.

ED: You know, I really have to say, it’s, you know, it’s one of the first shows I’ve ever done where everybody supports everybody else. I did, uh, I (directed) Bodie’s last stand.

HR: Oh, no.

ED: And uh, and he had been with the show since, since the beginning. And um, the night that we shot that, everybody came down to see him out the right way.

HR: Yeah, for those who don’t know, Bodie got whacked.

* laughter *

ED: Yeah. And he had been with the show since the beginning. But, but just the camaraderie among everybody. That’s one of the wonderful things about going to Baltimore and shooting an episode, is that, uh, everybody’s there for everybody else.

HR: Well, some of you talked about doing research. I know Deirdre, your character is having an affair with a Black Baltimore police captain. And I was just wondering…

* laughter *
* guffaws *

AR: Wow…

(Deirdre mock gasps)

HR: I’ll… I’ll… I’ll leave it.

DL: It’s not an affair…

* laughter *

DL: Sorry…

AR (singing): Awkward moment…

HR: Uh, David, why did you make uh… pardon?

DS: They’re in a committed relationship.
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ZooTown74
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11. "(Part 11)"
In response to Reply # 0
Mon Sep-10-07 02:12 PM by ZooTown74

  

          

>HR: Oh, okay. Uh, David, why did you make, uh, Kima and Omar, gay?

DS: You know, we sort of looked at the world and said, well, you know, let’s say a random 10 percent of… we’re basically trying to build a city of Baltimore. Um, we need to represent everybody, and where in these two universes – cause it was first season and we’re dealing with the drug culture and the police department – where can people be openly gay? Well, you can’t be openly gay, if you’re male, as part of one of the organized drug crews. Uh, they’re too homophobic. You can’t be openly gay in the police department, it’s too homophobic if you’re male. But there are plenty of lesbians who were openly gay in the Baltimore police department, some of whom I knew. Um, the stigma wasn’t the same if you were a woman, so that, that was applicable to Kima’s character. And, uh, since Omar was basically a free agent, um, he could…

* laughter *

DS: … he could, he could basically follow his own code. He was answerable to nobody. Um, and so it seemed entirely appropriate to do that. However, at times, I’ve been… I’ve introduced one of the guys who was sort of the, um, the basis, the real-life basis for one… for Omar, the real guy who is… who is still out and about, and he insists that I always say that he’s not gay.

* laughter *

DS: So, human empathy, apparently… he, he loves Omar, he loves the character, but he just insists I always say that, so apparently, human empathy only goes so far, you know, but…

HR: Well, there is a lot of homophobia in the US, we just had this incident—

DS: It just seemed like a natural thing to do…

HR: Yeah.

DS: I mean, we have another character who’s seemingly closeted (Rawls), and that would be typical of his station in life. But it’s just… you know, we’re just… we’re trying to organically include the whole world. We’re not… there’s no “statement” here (that) we’re trying to make, in any… other than to depict the world

HR: Yeah.

DS: But, you raised something about uh, not understanding the dialogue. Um, and I think that’s also true for the use of, uh, vernacular, cop vernacular, street vernacu.. uh, the drug trade’s vernacular. Every profession has its own interior dial… the port guys would speak in ways that, you wouldn’t understand the line the moment you heard it. It might make sense half an episode later, or maybe two episodes later, or maybe it never made sense. Maybe there were some lines that got past viewers. That’s a lot like life. And one of the things that I found crippling when I was writing for network television was the need to explain everything the moment you say it. The need for the dreaded exposition to come out and ruin good writing…

HR: What do you mean? Give us an example.

DS: Well, uh, you know, a very simple example was when I was writing for television, you needed to use the first and last name of a character when you introduced them in that very scene. Even though in real life it’s often hard to get people’s names, particularly on the street, you know. You usually don’t even get a given name, you get a street name. So, the idea that everybody would be talking about Joe Doakes, from the moment Joe Doakes is introduced in the script, was sort of an absurdity. No conversation ever happens like that in real life. But in order for people to follow this thing, in 12-minute installments between commercials where they’re going to go to the bathroom and get something to eat and come back and miss 2 minutes, you gotta explain everything. Or… or, you use an acronym, or some vernacular, like, uh… there’s a beautiful poetry in the way everybody in their jobs, whether it’s on a film set, or, uh… a dock, or a police precinct, the way we all talk about our jobs. Baltimore police officers used to use the phrase, “10-7” to describe somebody who’s dead. “10-7” is the police code for “out of service,” meaning, “I can’t make that call, I’m out of service.” When they say, “He’s 10-7,” you can… there’s like a… there’s a poetry to the cynicism. Well, that works if you just have them say, “Guy,” you know, “Guy rolled a 7,” or, “A guy’s 10-7,” and then they just keep talking. If they then pause to say, “That means he’s dead…”

* laughter *

DS: You know, you’ve just destroyed any… you know… and so, when, when characters would speak in the street vernac… you know, we were basically… you know, we trust our actors to convey, um, nuance. We’re giving them scripts that are nuanced and we trust them to embrace that, you know, all the way down the line. And if people don’t understand every line, it’s okay, you know? That’s… that’s something that prose writing really has over film, which is, the writer trusts when you pick up a book that, if you’ve read 15 pages in you’re not going to throw it down because you didn’t understand something immediately. You’ll keep going until… if, you know, if you paid the money for the book you’re probably finish it on its own terms. Television has never had that, uh, confidence in the way it’s written. And people have never had that confidence in the ability of actors to convey that kind of nuance. And we just decided, look, it’s 58 minutes, let’s trust them to stay in their seats. You know. That… that’s really the tri… that’s the only trick in our bag of tricks that I’m amazed more people, at least in cable, don’t embrace.

* applause *

HR: So we’re not going to see subtitles on The Wire, is what you’re saying here.

DS: Um, I think they have them on the DVDs. There are training wheels if you want to watch it that way.

* laughter *
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ZooTown74
Member since May 29th 2002
43582 posts
Mon Sep-10-07 02:12 PM

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12. "(Part 12)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

>HR: Well, going back to a different kind of understanding, there is a lot of homophobia in this country, and we recently had this incident where the former NBA star Tim Hardaway said, “I hate gays,” and he was savaged for that. Uh, having said that, uh, Michael and Sonja, do you feel like in any way your characters can give straights a better understanding of gays?

* pause *

(both Michael and Sonja chuckle)

* laughter *

(* AR whistles *)

MKW (mumbles): He sure gave me one…

HR: I’ll give you some time.

MKW: I think, um, well, in particularly in the… just in the black community… in the, in the urban community…

HR: Yeah.

MKW: … I notice that, um, nobody talks, like, people that… that in my community that run up to me that express admiration for the character, normally would be, you know, really horrified by his sexual orientation. But, you know, I don’t know if it’s because it’s on TV, because… I don’t know what happened between the connection of homophobia in the black community and then Omar, but something happened, and then there was a bridge that kinda got gapped. And nobody… you know, like every once in a while, people will, you know, bring up the whole homosexual thing about Omar, and I… I tell people, you know, when The Wire is done, gone, and people talk about the character, the last thing that people… Omar’s going to be remembered for is who he slept, you know, I just don’t think that’s going to be the main thing that the character, or Sonja’s character, is going to be remembered for. So, I’m just amazed at how, in the black community how, how, you know, it’s, you know, it’s kinda, he’s got, kinda, this ghetto pass, if you will.

* laughter *

MKW: It’s okay, you know… “Homosexuality is disgusting, but if it’s Omar?...”

* laughter *

MKW: So, um… it’s just crazy.

HR: Sonja, do you want to add anything to that?

SS: I just have to say, if you… if you are not familiar with urban, you know, ghetto black culture, you will just, you just won’t know what an impact this character (Omar) has made on that part of society.

HR: Why is that, do you think?

SS: I… you know, I, I real… honestly, um, I wish I could answer that. Um, you know, the character is smart, and strong, and fair.

AF: And masculine.

SS: And?

AF: And masculine.

SS: And masculine, no, absolutely. And masculine. And you know, that resonates… that seems to resonate very deeply with the black males, you know, in that part of our society. And I’m gonna tell you, it’s changed people. You change people. You see hip-hop… you know, brothers from hip-hop, being down with Omar, coming up to Michael whenever we go out to clubs, and just… you know… (* gives self dap *) “Omar”… and they’re talking about Omar. They’re really not talking to Michael…

* laughter *

SS: … they’re talking to Omar. And I look at that, and I go, wow, you know, that’s a beautiful thing. That’s a beautiful thing, that television can have that kind of effect. It’s subconscious, but it’s real.

AF: Can I add something to that? Um, I think this is so true. People love Omar. The amount of calls that I get from people who want to be on the show, um, is unbelievable. But… but the impact that that character has had in a lot of ways on people who would not have entertained playing certain things, it’s really changed things, it’s really interesting. I’m not talking about actors, per se, but I mean…

ED: I think people are—

AF: I mean, and I live in New York. People love Omar.

ED: Yeah, I think folks are fascinated with a character who lives by his own rules…

AF: Right.

ED: … makes his own rules, makes no apologies for them, and does his own thing, all the way.

HR: But he’s a killer.

AF: No…

ED: But he’s a Robin Hood, no…

HR: The guy’s a killer.

ED: But look at… but look at who he goes after. He doesn’t go after civilians. He doesn’t go after civilians…

AF: He has a moral code.

ED: … he has a moral code.

WP: That’s the complexity of humanity, too. That, you know, people love Omar, that doesn’t mean they love killers. You know? That’s how, I think, a lot of people I that know who speak about the character to me say, you know. Uh, and also, that’s something I try to tap into with my character Bunk, who actually has a connection with Omar because, you know, There But By the Grace of God Go I. You’re from the same working-class neighborhood that I’m from, and look at what you’ve turned into, and what, you know, I think you should be. But, I have no reason to connect with him if I didn’t care about him.

HR: This is one of the things that really defines good drama, isn’t it? Moral ambiguity? That everybody is not one thing or the other?

ED: I mean, one of the great things about the show is that, in a lot of ways, it’s a western. And Omar is, like…

CC: Clint Eastwood.

ED: … the perfect uh, the perfect outlaw.

HR: Billy the Kid…

ED: He’s the outlaw. And, he’s a Robin Hood-type character, because, uh, when you look at anybody that he has killed, I mean, he’s been blamed for a lot of things he didn’t do over the course of the show. But, whenever you look at somebody he has killed, it’s their own fault.

* laughter *

HR: That’s what he says…

ED: You know, you have a guy with a sawed-off shotgun standing in front of you, you know, you should know what to do. And if you don’t do it, you’re going to pay the price.

AF: But the complexities about these characters, and what makes them multi-dimensional… there’s that great scene between Bunk and Omar (to WP) when you get him out…

WP: Mmm hmm…

AF: … and you’re yelling at each other in front of the car? And Omar’s like, “I know, I know, I know, I owe you.” I mean, there’s… there’s so many different colors to what these guys get to play, because so much more is being put on the page than we normally get to see.

ED: And, and the way these two gentlemen play it beautifully? Even though they’re at odds with each other, there’s a grudging respect for each other…

WP: Mmm hmm…

ED: … which is, which is quite beautiful. It’s one of the things I love about it.

DS: I should say this. One of the tricks, one of the hard things about the show has always been, if you plan something well in advance, then you’re committed. And, I’ve worked on shows before, very good shows, where, you know, uh, a love triangle wasn’t working -- well, let’s abandon that plotline. Or there’s no chemistry between these two people or that, you know. And you just veer into another storyline, and you… stuff falls away, and… um, you know, Ed and I sat down shortly after the first season and started mapping out what each little chunk of Baltimore would be, if HBO, you know, so allowed us to proceed. And that required that you started making plans like, for, uh, Bob Wisdom’s character. We brought him on in second season to express, for one scene, at… at the crime scene of that… the kid who got shot through the window, he expressed his disgust for the drug war, and how useless it is. That was a whole setup for what was going to happen in season 3, if we even got a season 3. Um, we knew where we were going with that character. We knew that Prez was going to bottom out as a cop, so that he would be there for the educational component. The other trick to this, looking at my cast here, is that, you cast somebody on The Wire and it’s like, you’re making a commitment that, alright, this character has to end up here and they have to go through all these elements. Um, we’re committed. So, we really had to cast correctly, um, because if we didn’t, we were gonna be caught. You know, if for whatever reason, uh, you know, Jim couldn’t have made the arc into Pryzbylewski’s… Pryzbylewski as the teacher, then we were setting up the wrong guy for three seasons of frustration as a cop. Um, we, we were going to be nowhere for season 4. That’s really tricky to do, because, you know, most television is, you plan at the beginning of the season, but then stuff goes wrong, and you react. And with this, we really were sort of locked into… I mean, we know… we know where the endings are, we know exactly where we’re going. And the other thing that that costs you as a television show is, you have to be able to say goodbye to the show, which is something that doesn’t… it’s a lot easier when, you know, uh, whatever attention The Wire has gotten, we got late. But, um, but, it’s a lot harder when it’s a hit, because if the whole world is saying, it’s just great, you gotta keep going, you gotta keep going, the whole construct of serial storytelling is, “Well, I’ll give you more of what you like. Or, “I’ll keep my audience.” And eventually, that becomes a thin gruel. Um, so, in some ways, The Wire’s been blessed in a lot of ways by being left alone. We… you know, the expectations have been reduced, I think, at the beginning. (to CS) Not so much that you would cancel us, but just enough so that it was like…

* laughter *

DS: … go tell the best story you can.

CS: Well, almost…

DS: Yeah, almost. I mean… yeah, no, it was a very thin line. It was like one of those planes that had a lot of luggage and just managed to get off the ground and stay off the ground. But, um, in a way we… we got left alone, and, you know… being less popular than we were, we wouldn’t be here now, and being more popular than we were, maybe there would have been forces pressing us that would have made us make decisions that would have been about, uh, sustaining the franchise or market share, or whatever.

RW: Now just, look, one thing to just follow on what David’s saying. That… the only people who know the big arc… is David and Ed, and the writers. We have no idea, we get the scripts, one by one, and we discover what’s happening with our character as it goes. So, it’s like it’s a full—

AF: Well, they have to tell me.

RW: Oh… lucky you!

* laughter *

AF: … that would be cruel.

RW: Because, you know, of course you see the heartbeat is Alexa, you know. I mean, she, she scans the world and brings in all these people. But, outside of those brains, these bodies, we just get to make these simple, minute behavioral choices that carry us through. You know, for Bunny, it was… you know, on one hand he was weary, and on the other hand he was passionate. And so, every time I looked at a script I tried to see what was going on, and how that... but that would only unfold one by one by one by one. And that was the beauty of working, working in this way, because we never got ahead of ourselves.
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ZooTown74
Member since May 29th 2002
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Mon Sep-10-07 02:13 PM

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13. "(Part 13)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

>HR: Andre and Chad, uh, Bubbs and Cutty are two characters that, uh, achieve some sort of redemption in their lives. What do you draw on to play these characters?

AR: Well, for me, you know, I got real nervous, uh, playing a junkie and being cliché, or making it into just this, uh, funny kind of character, uh, so to speak. And when I went out and did the research, and just thought about myself living in New York City, there’s a lot of people growing up in New York that we see out there that are homeless or that are just down and out, and we kinda overlook them, we kinda pass them, you know, to the side and not be bothered by them. And when I became this character, you know, I got a sense, or when I talked to, you know, people that were like this character, that people had forgotten that they were human beings, you know, that… regular people who have a passion or have, you know, problems, who have, you know, the same thing that we all have. We’re all addicted to something, in some form or another. So, I really wanted to make sure that, no matter what Bubbles was doing, uh, in the scene, he was doing it from a sincere, human point of view. And, um, I think for a lot of people it just caught on where the guilt of people ignoring the people they see in the street? They root for Bubbles to make it, or to just, you know, live day-by-day and hopefully, one day, you know, find peace within himself. And so that worked out for me, with my character.

CC: Well, initially, (to DS and EB) you guys said I was going to be like, the moral conscience of the show, you know. But I… I just… I just thought it was extremely important to have the represen… to have that type of representation. Uh, it’s so many in our community (who) are struggling to try not to go on the wrong path. Um, the idea of redemption, the idea every one of us in some way, shape or form needing a second chance, you know, resonated to me. Uh, so many times in my life, if someone hadn’t gave me another opportunity, I… I could have definitely gone down a different path. Or if someone who just… people who just decided that I was just this, you know, if you will, a foster kid, you know, no parents, abandoned, uh, you know, this foster kid with no hope, then… you know, I could have ended up in a very… on a very different path. The idea of representing hope, not in some hokey, weird way. We all need it. Um, those are the type of things that I… that kinda resonated with me. Uh, just so many people I run into, it’s their story. They really have, you know, come out of, uh, you know, that life and incarceration and are struggling hard to try and uh, do the right thing and stay on the right path.

HR: Does religion have anything to do with it?

CC: That’s for each and every person to decide for themselves, you know? I… I wouldn’t make a, um… that was tough… yeah, I’m pretty sure how… however that manifests itself for each individual, you know, in spirit.
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ZooTown74
Member since May 29th 2002
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Mon Sep-10-07 02:14 PM

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14. "(Part 14)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

>HR: Okay. Uh, you know, I’ve seen the show described as “racially charged.” Uh, do you agree with that, Deirdre and Seth? And David, if that is true, is that something you intended? (after a pause, to Seth and Deirdre) Let me ask you both first.

DL: Racially charged.

HR: Racial tension. Racially tense.

(Dierdre starts to answer)…

HR: Tension between races…

* laughter *

DL: Thank you…

HR: … think of 6 or 7 races and every tension…

DL: … give me another clue, Larry…

* laughter *

DL: I, um, I… I don’t know, I think it’s just realistic. Um, S… I don’t know, Seth, you’re black, why don’t you take this one?

* laughter *
* applause *

SG: I actually, uh…

HR: You play a black character…

SG: Yes…

HR: … which works out great.

* laughter *

SG: A lot of research…

MKW: … he just plays one on TV…

SG: Years and years of research go into the… playing of a black character.

* laughter *

SG: Uh, I don’t know, I… I’m not sure that the show is racially charged or if it just has a lot of black people on it.

* laughter *
* applause *

DL: I really don’t know. I… I honestly…

AR: Yeah, that’s all.

SG: Lot of black folks.

DL: I honestly don’t know how to answer that question. Because (the show) is what it is, and um, it depicts, um, in a very realistic way, uh, I guess, um, I guess it’s… (inaudible)

(a few people talking at once)

SG: I think there’s, you know, I think there’s a little bit of racial tension whenever you get people of two different, you know… different nationalities together, you know...

SS: … but the hoppers don’t have the cops because they’re black…

AF: Right.

SS: … the hoppers hate the cops because they’re cops.

AF: Right.

SG: I was… I wasn’t thinking about the hoppers and the cops, I was… actually, I was trying to look for something that was racially charged and thinking, well, maybe there’s something in the way that, you know, the lieutenants deal with the sergeants and what have you. It’s just black and white characters talking to each other.

SS: The thing is, we have black cops that are, you know, the higher ups. I mean…

DL: I do know that there was an AP article, um, last week, um, that mentioned, interracial couples, uh, on television. And it mentioned, uh—I don’t remember who the other ones were. Um…

* laughter *

DL: But it did mention Lance Reddick (Daniels) and myself. And I remember thinking, wow, I guess, I mean, we don’t… I mean, I… I… (to HR) that’s why your initial “racially charged” question stumped me so much, it’s just, I… it’s so much… I guess I think we’ve come farther than we… than we have. But apparently this interracial relationship is, um, something that still bears writing about, when… when I actually then thought about it I guess, you know, there’s not a lot of iconography for that and just (inaudible)--

AF: I actually think the term “racially charged,” about this show, is so lazy.

ED: Yeah.

AF: It’s charged, and there are a lot of people…

* applause *

DL: Thank you.

AF: …who are non-white on the show.

DS: Usually when we bring up race in the writing, we’re… we’re doing it to mock people’s expectations. Um, we usually… there’ll be moments of, somebody makes a racial presumption and then will be found out on. Um, the show’s about how power and money route itself in a city. It’s about class.

RW: Exactly.

DS: And class is the great… is now the great dividing line in American culture, it’s not race anymore. That’s not to say there’s not inherent racism, (and) that it won’t be a residual problem for a long time, but more and more people, with every generation, wanna live, uh, in a multicultural world. They want their kids to grow up with friends of different… I mean, this… in every poll it says, that part is getting… that cultural awareness is getting a little bit healthier, as we… as…. What’s not is the, is the divisions of class. Nobody wants to… you know, everyone wants to be in the right school district, uh, with… they want their kids to be in the right school district, the black and white kids alike, and they want, uh, a certain amount of, uh, of security and financial wherewithal. And… and so, the show’s really about that. And it’s written in this sort of post… you know, I mean, I worked on Homicide, and I thought Homicide dealt with issues of race very aggressively and very well. But I watch some of those shows now, uh, 10-15 years later, and they are dated in terms of the sophistication with which race is perceived by… by a lot of people in culture.

HR: Well, as a disclaimer, I have to tell you, I read that in the newspaper, and everybody knows you cannot believe anything in newspapers…

* laughter *

HR: … so, there you go.
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ZooTown74
Member since May 29th 2002
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Mon Sep-10-07 02:15 PM

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15. "(Part 15)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

>HR: Uh, but you know, but uh, seriously though, uh, I’ve heard you say that you think one of the tragedies of much of television is there’s a timidity of out-provocation, that people are fearful of provoking audiences. And, if I’ve paraphrased you correctly, how would this show be provocative?

DS (to EB): Why don’t you handle that?

* laughter *

EB: How’s the show provocative?

HR: Did you intend to provoke audiences. Is there anything… any components of this show intended to provoke audiences…

EB: Um…

HR: … to rub them the wrong way. To make them edgy.

* laughter *

EB (to SS): “Racially charged.”

* laughter *

CS: Well, I mean, I would say… just from our…

HR: Bear with me on this one…

CS (to EB): I mean, not to speak for you, but…

EB: No, go ahead.

CS: … but I think presenting, uh, the world with all of its futility, I think, is… is fairly provocative in a TV landscape that usually wants neat and tidy endings and, um, some sort of assurances about where the future is.

ED: And there’s not a lot of shows that really speak truth to power. Really, you know, about the powers that are influencing, uh, politics in our cities and in our world. And there’s a lot of that in the show.

RW: We simply don’t want to see how complacent we’ve become as a society…

DS: Yeah.

RW: … so, it just points out when we… this show just lays it out. And it just… if you feel guilty, and you feel rubbed the wrong way, then that’s the life you’re living. You know.

AR: A lot of people—

DS: And the incredible thing is, we’re still described as a cop show. As (the show’s on) HBO, it’s just, it’s got dirty words and, you know, that’s it.

HR: So what’s wrong with that?

DS: Well, I mean, I gotta say, you know, like the third season, we were very careful to build in a metaphor… the entire third season was a metaphor for the Iraq War. Uh, from the towers coming down at the beginning, in the teaser of the first episode, to, uh, Avon having committed to a war, uh, against an insurgency he underestimated, uh, for corners that are ultimately meaningless. Um, you know, we…

AR: Mmm…

* appaluse *

DS: You know, I won’t explain to you who was Wolfowitz and who was, uh, Cheney, but…. But, but…

* laughter *

DS: But I will say to you that nobody got it. You know, nobody got it. Um, it was, you know… at every seminar I did like these, I kept like, throwing it out there, hoping that some… it was, you know, in some ways, unless you, you know… television’s so unsubtle, or at least the perception of it is so unsubtle, that, unless you… unless you, you know… I mean, the guy who’s got it right is Jon Stewart, you know. You really have to make it, like, put it on display as the mockery of where we’re going and say, you know, I’m now going to make a joke about the absolute absurdity of this. Short of that, I’m not sure that… that there’s a television drama that… um, that people will… follow to anything other than, “Did they get the bad guy, or did the two people I like get together and have sex.”

WP: I would disagree with you, because I think our audience got it. Because that’s why they watch.

HR (to audience): How many people got (the Iraq War metaphor)?

* scant applause *

DS: I don’t know…

HR: Some people got it.

DS: … a lot of ‘em watch because they hope Stringer’s not really dead.

* laughter *

WP: That’s true. I just think that, you know, audiences are so tired of the formula, you know? And, um, I remember being accosted by this woman in Penn Station in Baltimore. Uh, a black financier from… investment banker, who said, you know, “I hate your show because, you know, I just turn it on, and there’s some ragheads selling drugs, and all of that, and, you know, it just upsets me. And it disturbs me to no end.” And I said, “Good. Thank you.” Because if you ever lose the ability to be offended, and if you look at the hour and at the end of the hour, you think we’re not in a state of crisis, then we haven’t done our job. That’s how I feel. Because…

* applause *

WP: … you know, we look at our cities, and we look at what’s happening, and people wanna sugarcoat it and kinda avoid, you know, what’s really happening, you know? And I tell people all the time, if it disturbs you when you watch The Wire, good.

HR: I think I call that provocative.

WP: And that’s what I was…

HR: Yeah.

DS (to WP): I thought you were going to tell the story of the other woman who accosted you in the…

* laughter *

WP: Oh, no, no, no.

HR: That’s afterward.

DS: That goes back to the gay thing.

HR: Shh…

* laughter *

WP: I’m not going to tell that story.

DS: I’m going to tell it right now.

HR: Okay…

DS: In the Atlanta airport, he had a woman come up to him…

* laughter *

WP: No, you ain’t gonna tell that story…

DS: I’m telling it. A woman came up to him and said, “I love your character, I love how he acts, I love it… he’s so real, you know. I just don’t understand why you need to sleep with that white detective.”

* laughter *

WP: I asked her, “What are you talking about?,” and she said, “Well, you have that one scene where you said, ‘Yeah, it’s like the first time I fucked you I made sure I was easy.’” I said, “Well, no, that was kinda like… like a joke…”

(WP hangs head)

* laughter *

WP: Ever since then, David has put in some sexual innuendo between Bunk and McNutty…

* laughter *

WP: … every show….

* laughter *

WP: … then I get a call from my mother going, “Why you have to…”

* laughter *

WP: … “What’s with the pink shirt?”

* laughter *

DS: Every few episodes we honor that woman in the airport.

* laughter *

DS: We throw one out to her.

* laughter *

MKW: Try a kiss scene then see what your mother says, right?

WP: Oh, I know.

* laughter *
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ZooTown74
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Mon Sep-10-07 02:16 PM

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16. "(Part 16)"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

>HR: Well, looking at our panel, I’m curious. Is this a good time for African-American actors?

MKW: I think so.

AF: Until next year…

* laughter *

(the actors laugh)

(WP and AR point in the audience)

WP: Right there, they got a couple over there…

* laughter *

HR: And if it is, is it easy to get pigeonholed?

ED: I think one of the things that’s been kept kinda quiet is that The Wire actually has the largest Black cast of any other show since Roots. Ever.

* applause *

HR: Oh. Yeah. Ooh.

RW: And that’s from 8 to 80. You know, I mean, it’s like every… I think it’s one of the… I think that’s one of the most unsung social commentaries that, uh… there’s always been this myth that there weren’t… there weren’t that many strong Black actors and actresses around…

DS: Yeah.

RW: … excuse me.

AF: Such bullshit.

RW: And um, and I remember coming into the show, uh, you know, my first full year there, and I was just stunned, day after day after day. And Andre and I sat down, and, uh, Sonja, one weekend we went to visit Sonja’s, uh, country house, and…

(SS laughs)
(RW laughs)

CC: See how she live?

* laughter *

CC: Kima got a country house.

* laughter *

RW: Kima got a country house…

* laughter *

RW: … and we, we just, we just stopped ourselves when we just, you know, looked at what we’re a part of. And, uh, I think that’s something that, you know, bears attention all the way around, the (Television) Academy included.

SG: Yeah, I… I mean, I can’t really speak to, like, if this is a good *time for African-American actors, but I think this is a good *show, definitely, for African-American actors.

CC: Right.

* applause *

CC: It opened some eyes, you know. Maybe where there’s more narrow-minded thinking it may broaden now…

SS: Mmm hmm.

CC: … you know, just as these guys are saying. But I’d caution to say that, you know, this is a Great Time, A New Season, for African-Americans. You know, that’s like one of those big sweeping statements that’s kinda dangerous…

MKW: I don’t know, I sorta think—

CC: … I don’t know… you know what I’m saying? I don’t know if there’s…

MKW: I think it’s a, well, I think, if you look just on the cover of Jet magazine, I mean, um, it’s the Oscars, you know. You have um, you know, you have Jennifer (Hudson), you have Eddie (Murphy), um, uh, Forrest (Whitaker), and, um, my brother from Africa, I can’t remember…

ED: Djimon Hounsou.

MKW: … yeah, on the cover of Jet, all nominees for the Oscars, and I’m noticing all the roles that… you know, look at the roles that they’re, you know… Idi Amin… these are, like, really good roles that, I think, you know, um, um, the Dreamgirls stuff, that’s like, black musicals, and I think, you know, it’s coming in slow but I think there’s a lot of… (there are things) in Hollywood that, um… just even the fact that we’re even here, you know, on this panel here today, I think it’s a sign that, um, it’s, there’s just more diversity in Hollywood for Black people just as there’s all different stories being told. I think that’s more, for me, what, um, what, uh, strikes me as good stuff in Hollywood. It’s not about whether it’s a good time for a particular race, it’s about… because at the end of the day, you want to remember the story, you want to be entertained, you just want to have a good story be told. So, I think that the stories that just happen to be coming in, (ones) that African-Americans or people of color can play, I think has been getting a lot better. So therefore, I think it’s getting… diversity is what it’s all about.

* applause *

CC: Our representation has broadened, yeah…

DS: I would add one thing, which is, I think there is a subtle racial thing that I… I experienced on The Corner first, which is, um, when… when you do stuff that’s, like, “street”, or that sort-of has an authentic African-American veneer, and actors come and they play those roles, and they… they’re on book, they’re reading lines, and they’ve been made-up by good craftpeople, and they’ve been shot, we… we’ve dressed the scenes… it’s as if somebody thinks that we just took a camera out to the streets of Baltimore…

RW: Mmm hmm…

DS: … and put it on people, and they’re not even reading from the script.

AF: Right…

DS: And I… I felt that experience with The Cor… you know… The Corner won Emmys, uh, for the writing and for the, um, direction and for the miniseries. But the cast was utterly ignored.

* applause *

DS: And, that, that… there were remarkable performances and, of course, you know, no actor from this show has… I mean, we’re here (at the Television Academy) for your Spring event, you know, we’re not going to be back in the Fall, make no mistake.

* laughter *

DS: But um, you know, the… and, you know, and the truth is, when… when you have… I mean, you guys had the… your… the glossy Emmy magazine, and you had your diversity issue, there wasn’t a mention of Homicide, The Corner, or The Wire. Um, and the year that… the year that, like, you were busy ignoring—I’m saying “to you” in the royal “you”—um…

* laughter *

DS: … but, when Khandi Alexander was ignored, uh, for her portrayal of Fran Boyd in The Corner, uh, the Emmy that year went, for that category, went— and I’m not disrespecting her work in any sense—but it went to, uh, Halle Berry for playing Dorothy Dandridge. And, okay, she… a beautiful, talented, uh, Hollywood actress, portrayed a beautiful, talented Hollywood actress. Whereas, we tore Khandi down for her to play somebody struggling with drug addiction. Khandi didn’t merit a nomination. Okay, I’ll take that one. But the makeup award went to (Introducing) Dorothy Dandridge. I mean, on some level…

(panel laughs)
* laughter *

DS: … on some level, what that’s saying to me is, you know, uh, there’s a little subtle, I don’t want to call it racism but it’s close, where it’s saying, you know, “They’re just doing what comes naturally,” you know, “Bubbles is just… that… that’s natural Bubbles, that’s not… Andre is just, you know…”

* laughter *

DS: “… Andre’s just tapping into his…”

(AR stands up and poses)

* laughter *

AR: I’m not really like that.

* laughter *

AR: That’s not right.

(AR sits back down)

DS: … “and so, all you gotta do is put a… put a shotgun in Michael K’s hands and he’s off to the races.” And…

* laughter *

DS: … and there’s something about that that really bugs me, because—

AF: Can I add something to that, because I think this is important, because it addresses the writing that these guys do, and that HBO has been willing, and has supported this show. But from where I sit? I’m very skeptical about whether or not it’s a good time for Black actors. I mean, these are wonderful scripts, these are great characters, and what happens next? All of these guys have auditioned for me, for roles that are nowhere close to this good. So, uh, I don’t know, I’m not as optimistic. I mean, you know, I want to be hopeful…

MKW: And there’s no… Alexa, and I look at other people’s careers, and I’m just so grateful to have at least one Wire in my career… if I get nothing else as great as Omar again, I can say I got Omar. So… I got more than a lot of other actors… the one, the little work that I’ve done in the five years with my family in Baltimore, I think is, you know, you know what I’ve mean, I’ve seen a lot less than striking (?). But um, like, even what you said, David about, uh, it’s a thin line between the races and how it looks when and how they don’t acknowledge, like, Khandi’s work and stuff like that. I think, really, it’s… it goes back to what you said is a class thing. I think that, you know, we as a country, we don’t really want to look at our sores. We don’t want to look at nothing that’s ugly, or nothing that unplugs us from our matrix. And The Wire deals with that, like what you said, Wendell. If you leave our episode of The Wire feeling, you know, hunky-dory, ready to go to the club, you got a problem…

* laughter *

MKW: … there’s a problem, we haven’t done our job. So, so, um, it… it’s, I think, like what you said, it’s a class thing. We don’t want to look at our dirty laundry, which is, you know, a lot of, you know… it’s an American story that’s not always pretty, and that’s what The Wire deals with, and I think that—

AR: A lot of people come up to me and say, that, you know, they don’t want to watch The Wire because they don’t want to go home and watch what they’re going through out in the streets. They turn on the TV to escape, to be entertained and escape the problems they have. Cats don’t wanna, you know, cats that get locked up don’t wanna see how they got locked up…

* laughter *

AR: … where they messed up at, you know? Somebody who’s eating bread and butter for dinner don’t wanna see another person eating bread and butter for dinner.

* laughter *
* applause *

AR: It’s… you know… so, yo… it’s a hard sell for a lot of people to really sit down and watch the problems that they have to live with every day, you know. So it puts… it puts The Wire in a weird position.
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This ain't a scene
it's a
got
damn
arms
race

  

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ZooTown74
Member since May 29th 2002
43582 posts
Mon Sep-10-07 02:17 PM

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17. "(Part 17)"
In response to Reply # 0
Mon Sep-10-07 02:17 PM by ZooTown74

  

          

>HR: Well, before we began today, uh, tonight, we collected some cards from people who had questions for you. And this is one that’s sort-of related. Uh, “Does the success of The Wire mean more opportunities for stories — not necessarily roles, stories about minorities — particularly African-Americans, and more shows that are about rich, complex characters rather than flashy, high-concept plots?” That’s from an NBC executive, I think.

* laughter *

AR (to the “executive”): You tell us, man.

DS: That’s got Carolyn Strauss written all over it.

CS: I think that’s all in the hands of the executors, you know. I think with, um, the success of The Wire is due to all the people who are… who are sitting up here on either side of me, and, you know, who are, uh, you know, the best at their game, at what they’re doing. And I think to be able to tell the stories with the complexity and lack of flash, as it were, um, the way David and Ed do, and have them, you know, inhabited by these actors, you know, that’s… lightning often doesn’t strike that many times. I mean, it gives so many people things to shoot for, for sure.

HR: Okay, we have one more question from members of the audience. “Please”— I don’t know who this is addressed to—“Please discuss the scene where Bunk and McNulty use nothing but the F word while recreating a…”

* applause *

WP: Um, I’ll never forget, we were standing around the set, uh, a couple of episodes before that, and David came up to us, and he said, “I have this great scene that I’m writing.” He said, “You’re gonna go back to an old crime scene. You’re gonna realize, ‘Aw, man, this guy messed it up.’ And you go back in, and you’re gonna discover where everything is. And then McNulty’s gonna say to you, ‘I’ll take over here and discover how far the ballistics went.’ And you see how the body is laid out, Bunk. And then you go to the window, and you say, ‘McNulty, wait a minute, the glass is on the inside, the shot came from outside instead of in.’ He says, ‘Yeah, that doesn’t make sense, because you would have to be 7 feet tall to get that trajectory.’ (And you say), ‘Alright, well, wait. Then, if that’s the case, then the bullet is still in here.’ He says, ‘Yeah, let’s find it.’”…

(AR laughs)

WP: “’… ah, I’ve found it. It’s in the refrigerator.’ He goes, ‘Wait, if it’s still here, then the casing may still be outside.’ And you’re going to go outside and go, ‘Ah, see? I found it.’” And (Dominic and I) say, wow, that sounds like a great scene…

* laughter *

WP: … and (David) said… and he said, “Now, you’re gonna do that, but you can only say ‘Fuck.’”

* laughter *

WP: And I said, “Only ‘Fuck’?” And he said, “Well, you can do, you know, variations… ‘Motherfuck,’ ‘Aww, Fuck,’ whatever…” he said, but only “Fuck.” And actually, that is one of the proudest scenes I’ve ever done in my career, because…

* applause *

WP: … it really says… it really says everything about what David said earlier about trusting your actors. And it was also one of the greatest acting exercises in the world. And, uh, I’m very, very proud of that scene. It was a motherfucker.

* laughter *
* applause *

CC: Aiight?

HR: That’s… that’s a very good note to end on.

* laughter *

DS: I wanna add something. Let me add…

HR: You want to add one thing, go ahead.

DS: Ed took the… I gotta correct, Ed took the first pass at that scene, and actually constructed that whole crime scene. But we were channeling a guy, he would just love to have his mentioned in Hollywood somewhere. A guy named Terry McCarthy, uh, a lieutenant still in the Baltimore City Homicide Unit, who said to me years ago when I was a police reporter, he was talking about police profanity. He said, “You know, we’re eventually going to get to that point where two Baltimore cops are going to be able to have a whole conversation using just the word ‘Fuck.’”

* laughter *

DS: And I remembered he said that. So… Ed channeled that.

* applause *

HR: Well, as a former television critic, I was always skeptical of casts sitting around, applauding the shows that they were on. But in this case, it’s, uh, certainly true. And I want to thank our panel, uh, not only for appearing here, (but also) for being a part of this show, The Wire, which is truly a great piece of work. Thank you very much.

* applause *
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This ain't a scene
it's a
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race

  

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jonz mahone
Member since May 28th 2007
5576 posts
Mon Sep-10-07 02:51 PM

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18. "*bookmarks* THANK YOU ZOOTOWN74!"
In response to Reply # 17
Mon Sep-10-07 02:51 PM by jonz mahone

  

          

.

  

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Nopayne
Member since Jan 03rd 2003
52495 posts
Mon Sep-10-07 03:25 PM

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19. "I hereby take back most mean things that I've ever said about you"
In response to Reply # 17


  

          


-------------------------------------
http://www.myspace.com/therealnopayne
http://www.last.fm/user/nopayne/

  

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JtothaI
Charter member
17083 posts
Mon Sep-10-07 03:41 PM

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20. "Thanks! I'm rewatching the series right now"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

on season 3 episode 1. This is nice! thanks.

  

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gmltheone
Member since Jun 11th 2003
8564 posts
Mon Sep-10-07 09:24 PM

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21. "Kudos..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Hearing the characters speak was interesting.


----------------------------
"No really Nate, I don't think you're a gimmick. You deserved to win that Slam Dunk contest. Keep practicing and maybe next year it won't take you fifteen attempts to throw one down. Who's my little man?"

  

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HighVoltage
Member since Jan 04th 2004
16583 posts
Mon Sep-10-07 10:40 PM

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22. "anybody got a link to the video?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

as much as i love the wire, thats an abudance of bathroom reading material.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

www.itsallthewaylive.net

www.twitter.com/allthewaylive

  

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Numba_33
Charter member
18459 posts
Tue Sep-11-07 07:52 AM

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23. "Thank you ZooTown. n/m"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

  

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DeadMike
Member since Jan 28th 2005
1030 posts
Tue Sep-11-07 08:33 AM

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24. "Wow! Damn man, thanks for posting this!!!!"
In response to Reply # 0


          

  

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