Back in the day, I used to hear people talk about “The Wire” the way they talk about “Roots” in that it was must-see television that would blow your mind and change your way of thinking. Of course, at that time, I thought folks were just being over-the-top with their adoration of the show, but that was until I decided to invest about two months of my life to watch the entire five seasons. And yes, my mind was blown. As crazy and good as the storylines were, it was the characters who had me engrossed. If you were a fan, I’m sure you would agree, and you probably also want to know where the hell all these talented individuals went to and what they’ve done with their lives since. We can’t tell you where they ALL are, why, that would take forever AND a day. But we can play “Where’s Waldo?” with some of our favorite characters and faces. Per the usual, be ready to click.
Detective “Jimmy” McNulty
McNulty was something else wasn’t he? While he could definitely be an awful individual outside of work with his love for the ladies and his reckless abandon, when it came to doing his job, your boy was too good at what he did. Even if he was a hot mess a majority of the time while doing it (I know you remember his controversial antics in the final season!?). In real life, Dominic West is not from B-More, let alone America. He’s an acclaimed English actor, and since leaving “The Wire,” he’s done a lot of work (he was even in 300 during his time on the show), including a lot of theatre work (“Butley,” “Othello”), movies (Centurion, Johnny English Reborn, The Awakening, John Carter) and some more TV (“The Hour”, “The Devils W***e,” and “Appropriate Adult”). Random fact, he also showed up on Eminem’s album Relapse on the opening track, “Dr. West.”
Det. William “Bunk” Moreland
The Bunk! He was the hilarious, cigar smoking “murder police” who tried his hardest to keep McNulty in check. When he wasn’t taking back beers with him after work, he was talking crazy (“You happy now b***h??”). This guy was a hoot, indeed. After the show, Wendell Pierce used his connections to get a starring role on another HBO show, “Treme.” He’s also done a lot of movies, including Horrible Bosses, Night Catches Us, and The Mortician, and has finished up four movies that you can catch him probably acting a fool in as well: Four, Parker, Bolden, and B.B. King and I.
Lt. Cedric Daniels
Lance Reddick did an awesome job of playing the very uptight Lt. Cedric Daniels. And thanks to David Simon, his character had some great lines during the show’s run: “You’d rather live in s*** than let the world see you work a shovel.” When the show ended, Daniels had a recurring role on “Lost” for a short while, showed up in the horrible movie Johah Hex, and was of course a regular on the FOX show, “Fringe” from 2008-2012. He’s also done a lot of voice work, including some for the animated shows “TRON: Uprising,” and “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.” What’s coming up next for one of our favorite bald brothas? Well, Reddick just completed filming the movies Won’t Back Down and St. Sebastian.
Detective Shakima Greggs
The lone lady in the crew, and a lesbian…just in case you weren’t aware…while Greggs was known for playing no games, she was also known for being very caring when it came to the people that mattered to her (she was the only person who really seemed to ACTUALLY care about informant Bubbles). She went through a lot on the show, getting shot, having a baby with her lady, breaking up with her, and being moved from unit to unit at the drop of a hat, but she was a trooper through it all. In real life, after the show, Sonja Sohn took a break from acting to try her hand at dealing with a variety of political issues that affect the community, the Baltimore community to be specific. So she started the outreach program, reWIRED for Change. And when she came out of hiatus, she had a guest role on “Brothers & Sisters” and “The Good Wife,” and a regular role on the show “Body of Proof.” Sohn was also one of the few old cast members to show up for the “Funny or Die” short that was “The Wire: The Musical.”
Sgt. Ellis Carver and Det. Thomas “Herc” Hauk
These two had each other’s back throughout the entire show, even though they were very different people. Carver definitely started off as an a**, but as the show went on he definitely changed for the better, became a more compassionate law enforcer and just matured all around. Herc on the other hand was a bumbling fool, and by the time the show finished, we know he had made enough mistakes to warrant his removal from the force. But I can’t lie, I think I liked them both better when they were on screen together.
When the show ended, Seth Gilliam, who played Sgt. Carver, of course showed up in guest roles on the “Law & Order” shows, and appeared in some much ballyhooed TV shows and movies (“Skins,” “The Good Wife,” “Person of Interest” and Did You Hear About the Morgans?). He’s also had a recurring role as Dr. Deaton on the MTV show, “Teen Wolf,” and has decided to get back to doing some theatre work, as he is currently playing in “Othello” at the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company in Boston.
As for Domenico “Domenick” Lombardozzi, he’s had the chance to have a guest role on “Entourage,” and “24,” and even had large role in the movies How Do You Know and Public Enemies with Johnny Depp. He most recently has been starring in the show “Breakout Kings” alongside Laz Alonso and is currently filming the movie Blood Ties, slated for a 2013 release.
Detective Lester Freamon
Lester Freamon was what I’d like to call, silent but deadly. For the first season or so, he preferred to keep to himself, constructing his dollhouse furniture and staring up at people from his glasses. But he always knew where to look for the most important of clues, which is what made him one of the best detectives of all. In real life, Lester Feamon was played by Clarke Peters, who has been working and working hard ever since the show ended. He had a recurring role on the show “Damages,” as well as “Holby City” and appearing in the miniseries, “Dr Who: Dreamland.” But his biggest roles as of recent include his regular role as Albert “Big Chief” Lambreaux, a Mardi Gras Indian chief trying to move forward after Hurricane Katrina. He’s also done theatre work alongside Dominic West in the title role of “Othello,” and playing one of the lead characters, Da Good Bishop Enoch Rouse, in the controversial Spike Lee film, Red Hook Summer.
Andre Royo’s “Bubbles” was a heartbreaking character, and while people had the habit of overlooking his contributions to the police department, if he hadn’t stepped up in the very beginning and put the cops on to Avon Barksdale as their informant, the ball wouldn’t have ever got rolling. Love that he finally got clean and got close to his family again in the end. But anywho, after the show, Royo had a guest role on the old NBC show “Heroes,” as well as the shows “Fringe,” Memphis Beat,” “Party Down,” and “How To Make It In America.” But as of recent, he’s been showing up in a lot of big movies, and is working on many. He was Antwan ‘Coffee’ Coleman in Red Tails, and is working on/completed five films: The Collection, Hellbenders, The Miracle of Spanish Harlem, Remnants and Shoedog. He was also another cast member who appeared in the “The Wire: The Musical” short.
Det. Roland ‘Prezbo’ Pryzbylewski
He was another one who started off very sketch. His reputation was bad the minute he became part of the drug investigation detail, but sloppy mistakes and choices, including blinding a teenage boy and accidentally killing a fellow cop, tarnished it, and your boy had to be out of the Baltimore Police Department. But that might have been a blessing, because we got to see a whole new side of “Prezbo” when he decided to enter the school system as a math teacher. Though he started off badly, he definitely became one of my favorite characters. After the show ended, Jim True-Frost did continue to act here and there. He did theatre, including starring as Brutus in a run of “Julius Caesar” and having a role in “August: Osage County,” a Tony-winning play. He also had a recurring role on “Treme” in 2010, and guest starred on shows like “Blue Bloods” and “The Good Wife” in 2011 and 2012.
Although he was soooo entertaining and poetic at times, let us not forget that Omar Little was a bad guy. The stick-up man with his big guns and big jacket and signature whistle terrorized the drug dealers on the Westside of Baltimore. And though he came off rough and tough, we always respected that Little had rules, and respect for others, including NOT picking up his gun on Sundays. Since his run on the show ended, IF you know what I mean, Michael Kenneth Williams has been keeping those acting jobs coming. Most notably, he was in Miracle at St. Anna, Brooklyn’s Finest, and has had recurring and regular roles on the shows, “The Philanthropist,” “Boardwalk Empire” as Chalky White, and on “Community.” He is working on the movies They Die By Dawn, Snitch, Twelve Years A Slave, The Suspect, Dirty White Boy (interesting title?) and 1982 this year. Plus, you probably peeped him dancing in that “The Wire: The Musical” short for Funny or Die.
I don’t care what anybody says about Wood Harris, I love him, and I loved him in this role as kingpin, Avon Barksdale. He was wise, with just the right mix of sensibility but a whole lot of hood. Step to him and he was ready to go to war when he really needed to cool it as to not harm his business, but he was reckless like that. After playing Barksdale, Harris tried his best not to get typecast like others who’ve appeared on the show, playing a quirky doctor in The Heart Specialist alongside Zoe Saldana (before she blew up), did Jazz in the Diamond District, Not Easily Broken, Next Day Air, and Just Another Day. He also made guest appearances on “Southland” and is working on the movie Sweetwater. And it’s not too late to catch him as Mitch in the revival of the Tennessee Williams play, “A Streetcar Name Desire alongside Blair Underwood and Nicole Ari Parker. Oh, and he’s also been trying his hand at music, producing his own album, Beautiful Wonderful.
Avon’s right-hand man and best friend, Bell tried to make their work in the drug game legitimate and was more focused on the business aspect than the corner battles and drama that came with it. His and Barksdale’s conflicting opinions on the direction of their work is what inevitably tore them apart as friends. Such a shame! Props to Idris Elba for doing his best with that Baltimore accent, we know it couldn’t have been easy. As we all know, Elba has had big luck since he broke out on the TV show. He was in Daddy’s Little Girls, 28 Days Later, American Gangster, RocknRolla, Obsessed with Beyonce, The Losers, Takers, Thor, and the recent release that is Prometheus. He’s also had a recurring role on “The Office” for a short time as Charles Miner, was on “The Big C” and if that wasn’t enough, he’s got his own show, “Luther” on BBC which garnered him a Golden Globe for his acting talents. He’s got a lot more films coming up that he’s working on, including a rumored take at playing Nelson Mandela in A Long Walk Home, and is set to star in Thor 2.
Everytime I think of D’Angelo I just shake my head. So much potential and such a good heart, if only he hadn’t got caught up with his uncle, his maybe too loyal mother, the sheisty Stringer Bell and the drug game. Ah well! Barksdale made an early exit and after that, we saw very little of Lawrence Gilliard Jr. But he’s doing all right. In fact, he had a recurring role on the show “The Beast,” and a recurring guest role on “Army Wives.” He’s mostly stuck to TV, but you can catch him in the following movies this year and next year: Would You Rather, The Trial of Ben Barry (short) and St. Sebastian (2013).
A skilled hitman with an odd love for fish, Wee-Bey was indeed a character. Even behind bars he had people shook (mostly his crazy a** wife), and when he was on the streets, everybody needed to watch their back. I personally thought his dark character was hilarious, and I often wondered what he ended up doing when the show ended. The man who played him, Hassan Johnson, went on to play in Brooklyn’s Finest, Frankenhood, A Day In the Life, Gun and A Talent For Trouble. He’s also had some guest roles on shows like FX’s “Justified,””Cold Case and on the now-defunct show Dark Blue. Check him out in An American in Hollywood, to be released this year, and Last I Heard and Newlyweeds to come out next year.
Preston “Bodie” Broadus
A loyal dealer and de facto chief of the Barksdale Organization, Broadus was another kid who grew up before our eyes on the show, starting off as a hotheaded corner boy and eventually turning into a compassionate leader who clearly knows the difference between what’s wrong, and what’s just really jacked up (everything Marlo and his organization were about). J.D. Williams was very good in his role as “Bodie,” and he was mad cute! So where is he now? Well, he did a lot of straight-to-video movies, and did his share of TV work (guest roles on “The Kill Point,” “The Good Wife,” and “Detroit 1-8-7”). He’s got some some movies that are coming out this year as well, including Surviving Family, and An American in Hollywood alongside Hassan Johnson.
Another big cutie, Wallace was someone in the drug game who you could tell didn’t want to be in it, but by the time a window came for him to get out of it, he decided to stick around and deal with the worst. His story, of taking care of a gang of kids with MIA parents and trying to get by through selling drugs was too sad for me. DANG, this was a good show! Anyway, Michael B. Jordan, the fine brotha who played Wallace, is doing big things these days. After he left the show, he of course had a recurring role as Reggie on “All My Children,” was on the TV show “The Assistants,” as well as “Friday Night Lights,” and “Parenthood” in big roles. He just had hit movies come out with Red Tails and Chronicle, and you can catch him in the movie Fruitvale coming out next year.
Who really could stand Marlo Stanfield? He was ruthless as hell and for all the lives he “took,” he never had to pick up a gun. But I will say, his character’s arrival and recklessness definitely made things all the more interesting. In real life, Jamie Hector is a lot nicer, and he even smiles! He tried doing TV again on “Heroes” as Benjamin “Knox” Washington and has had a few small guest TV roles, but he’s been doing his share of big and small independent films over the years too. That includes Just Another Day, Night Catches Us, and The Gift. He’s working on Life, Live, Soul, The Magic City, Blood Ties, and My Manz and ‘Em for release this year and next year.
Chris & Snoop
Marlo’s right-hand man and woman, the duo were just as ruthless as their boss, if not more; What with storing the bodies of people in old abandoned homes that became tombs and being willing to kill innocent, hard-working people to set ‘ol Omar up. But they were complex characters too. Chris clearly had been a victim of sexual abuse as a kid (hence his connection with Michael) and Snoop…well, she was just complex in general.
After the show, the actually very sweet and lighthearted (and hot) Gbenga Akinnagbe had recurring roles on “The Good Wife” and “Nurse Jackie.” He also has been in a lot of movies, including Lottery Ticket with Bow Wow, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, and The Edge of Darkness. Coming up, he’s working on three movies, Big Words, Mall and Home. He’s also has a burgeoning writing career, producing pieces for The New York Times of all people.
As for Felicia “Snoop” Pearson, she’s appeared in music videos for Rick Ross and on tracks with Tony Yayo, and has appeared in the funny short, “The Wire: The Musical.” She also found herself with a bit of legal trouble (again) as she was arrested for real life alleged drug offenses, but in the end she was given three years probation and a suspended sentence. Aside from that, she finished two movies for release this year (They Die By Dawn and Diamond Ruff), but has laid low on the acting tip, doing occasional roles.
OUR FAVORITE SCHOOL KIDS (In Cased You Missed It Before…)
Though Wilds’ character of Michael Lee started of soft-spoken and somewhat shy (when it came to adults, and we all know why that was…) in the end, we watched the very loyal character turn into a cold blooded hitman. Wilds was so good in the role, it was crazy. But surprise, surprise, he left the gritty streets of Baltimore for Beverly Hills as star on the revamped version of “90210.” Along with being the lone black face on that show, the cutie was in the movie The Secret Life of Bees, Red Tails, and is working on two new movies: Fruitvales and Indelible. And did I mention that he’s still a cutie?
*Shakes head* Randy Wagstaff’s story literally had me in tears near the end of season four of “The Wire.” As sweet, smart and innocent as he was, the young man didn’t know how to say no, and because of that, he kept finding himself in a sea of trouble on the regular. *sighs*
Oh well. But things have been all good for Harrell since the show ended. Also a music producer, he did the music for Rihanna’s Rebelle Fleur perfume commercial. But he still acts on the regular. He most recently had a role on the show “Suburgatory,” and was in the movies Polish Bar and The Promotion. He’s also had many a guest role on shows like “Meet the Browns,” “Lie to Me” and “CSI: NY.”
Geez, the more I talk about these characters, the more sad I get! Duquan “Dukie” Weems was another one with a lot of potential, but he just came from the roughest of beginnings. The son of drug addicts, though a smart kid, his parents were always selling his stuff and left “Dukie” in a state of poverty. That is until he started rolling with Michael all the time. *another sigh* If only he had went on to high school…
But there’s pretty good news in real life for Crawford. He’s kept up the work since his time on “The Wire” ended, showing up in the movies An American Affair, Twelve, Damsels in Distress, and he just finished the movie, Maladies. He also had guest starring roles on popular shows like “Person of Interest.” Why Dukie, you’ve come SUCH a long way…
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