Are there lines that stand out to you?
The line I was fascinated with, and I think more so because so many people are, is: 'My name is my name.' [Season 5, Episode 9: 'Late Editions'] That speaks so true to so much that's going on, in life, in America, in the world. It's this whole branding thing: No matter what you do, do not mess with my name. That just goes to show he was speaking as if he was like a walking business. 'My name is Marlo Stanfield, but it's a brand name. When you say my name on the street, it holds weight. And being that it holds weight, if you let anyone talk negative or do anything to sabotage this business, it's going to affect all of us.' It rang so true.
What are the Marlo Stanfield moments that stand out to you?
If you think about Marlo, you heard about him more about in the third season than you saw him. He was not there as much as he was referenced. So the great moments are the ones with the Greeks and Prop Joe. Because I felt very vulnerable. I realized I needed to get something I couldn’t get, and was trying to finesse and figure out how to build a relationship with the Greeks, or how to acquire the wisdom of Prop Joe. With the Greeks, every time I go see this guy, I go to him with a suitcase of money. The mentality and value system of Marlo is, everybody has a price. With Prop Joe, it's, how do I turn this into a business? I can't trust anybody else to do it so I'm not only vulnerable, I'm going to play as if I'm vulnerable, until I tell you, 'I wasn't made to play the son.' Until I let you know the truth because I've gotten everything from you. Those two really caught my attention. For Marlo, everything else was taking. If he wanted it, he'd take it.
So Marlo was still learning even when he was on top.
Those that tend to lose are the ones that don't think they can grow anymore, and come with their glass full.
Do you ever think about what Marlo would be up to now?
I always think about it. He was smart enough to know to park his Mercedes Benz outside of the neighborhood. Smart enough to know at a young age to not flash; No jewelry, no rims, none of that. He was smart enough to know the game, and the wisdom of Prop Joe to get offshore accounts, that he had to intermingle with the Greeks, to take advice when he was given advice and not let pride or ego take over. With all of that, I don't truly think he fully departed from the opportunity upstairs. He understood the process of life, the transition. This was way it goes; this is the way he had to go.
Besides your own, do you have a favorite character?
Let me tell you, I, Jamie Hector, believe in redemption. People can and will change. The one character that has that is Cutty. He came from the lifestyle of Avon Barksdale and Marlo Stansfield because that was the card he was dealt. He was born into that environment, lived it out, came home and tried again, but realized, this is not me. He made that transition to serve as an activist and a leader by serving the kids in the community versus destroying them, or sticking to old patterns that didn't work. That redemption right there, shows what a person can become.
What do fans say to you when they recognize you as Marlo Stansfield?
I was Christmas shopping yesterday, and it was insane. The guy behind the counter at this chocolate factory, he started telling the younger generation working behind the counter, “Oh my god, it's the greatest show on earth.” And then he looked at me and said, “My name is my name,” and I said, ‘Yes, it is.’