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The Wire Made Unexpected And Profound Changes To The Lives Of Three Of It's Most Beloved Stars
2024/04/10

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The Wire undoubtedly launched the careers of many talented actors, one of them being the late Michael K. Williams. This iconic HBO series, created by David Simon, not only made the stars rich but also established them as renowned actors. It was a show that was rich in meaning, drama, and spectacle, and has been hailed as one of the greatest series ever written. In an oral history of The Wire by WAMC, some beloved stars shared how the show profoundly changed their lives.

One of these stars, Steven Earle

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, who is also a musician, portrayed the character of recovering addict Walon for just eight episodes. Despite the short screen time, Steven made a lasting impact on the audience. David Simon, being a huge music fan, even used one of Steven's songs in a limited series he did. As fate would have it, when David started working on The Wire, he offered Steven the role of Walon. According to Steven, this role required little acting, which made him less apprehensive. 

Wendell Pierce, who played Detective Bunk Moreland, had a unique perspective on his role. Bunk Moreland was based on a real retired police detective from Baltimore named Oscar Requer.

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To prepare for his role, Wendell spent significant time with Oscar and various sergeants in the homicide division, which granted him an understanding of their work and a different viewpoint on the history of police brutality in Baltimore. 

Benjamin Busch, who portrayed Officer Anthony Colicchio, connected deeply with his character's frustration and unwavering sense of justice. Having returned from Iraq, Benjamin's first audition after his tour was for The Wire. Officer Colicchio, like Benjamin, saw the world in black and white in a city full of gray. Benjamin admitted that his experiences in the war influenced his performances, as they mirrored the compromise and disillusionment he experienced. He believed that his portrayal of Tony Colicchio held some truth for him personally.

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