Interview with Tristan Wilds

HBO

Will you watch the re-air?

Tristan Wilds

Absolutely, without a doubt. It was amazing moment in my life, I was 16, just wilding and having fun. I definitely want to watch it again and relive those moments.

HBO

Did you have a sense of what the show's impact would be when you joined in Season 4?

Tristan Wilds

Not at all. I remember we were at our first TCA, everybody – Spike Lee – people were coming up to us, saying, 'Yo, you kids are amazing. You guys have no idea what's about to come.' And we were like, 'We really don't.' If you would have told me, I would have looked at you and laughed. I couldn't have foreseen this. There's not a psychic strong enough to forsee something like this -- this one show you're going to do? It's going to be the best show of all time.

HBO

Of the five seasons, do you have a favorite?

Tristan Wilds

Would it be cliché if I say 4? I was a big fan of the show. So Season 3 was watching Stringer's rise to power and struggle. Like he was trying to make the drug trade good. You wanted to root for him, but of course, he met his demise. I remember thinking, how do they come back from this? And the fourth season came around, I got cast, and I'm reading the scripts like, “Holy moly!” Every time we got a script, we would be in the conference room, all four of us, reading, saying, ‘Did you see? Did you see this part?’

HBO

Do you have memories of the four of you on set?

Tristan Wilds

For us, the young boys, our best times were when we were off-screen, when we were in school together, cutting up. We weren't too bad -- we didn't put the teachers through any of the hell that our characters did -- but we definitely had fun, so a shout out to all of the teachers that dealt with us. I definitely still talk to Jermaine [Crawford, aka Dukie] and Maestro [Harrell, aka Randy] and Julito [McCullum, aka Namond]. We always keep in contact and make sure we're all doing well.

HBO

What lines or moments most stand out to you?

Tristan Wilds

It's one of those shows where whether it's a quote from Carcetti, or something Mr Prez says, there are so many tidbits that touch you, that do different things for you at that moment. The one that stuck out the most was Randy's, after his house burned down [412, "That's Got His Own"]. Carver goes to see him, and he's like, “You going to help me?” All of the emotion in him just saying those words, it shook the room.

HBO

Which of Michael's lines do you remember the most?

Tristan Wilds

It would be the goodbye scene [509, "Late Editions"]. Dukie asking about the summer from the season before, the balloons, the ice cream we wanted had after. “That was such a great summer, do you remember it?” And Michael, because of everything that happened, he couldn't remember it.

HBO

Besides Michael, did you have a favorite character?

Tristan Wilds

Bubbles. Andre Royo. You get to see his character arc. From being the drug addict, to trying to find himself, and falling, and then getting back up. And it's a true-to-life struggle, not a fabricated, movie thing: He's a drug addict; it is what it is. 'The Wire' made him human, you felt for him every step of the way. Every time he tried to get better and tried to get good, you rooted for him.

HBO

What did you most appreciate about being part of the show?

Tristan Wilds

This was my very first big thing. You had some of the best actors in Hollywood right now, all on the same set making sure that you learn what you have to. What choices to make. How to feel. How to come across authentically and honest. How to make this character, real and complete, 360 degrees, a full-fledged person. Me being 16 years old, that being my very first thing, I couldn't have asked for a better place to learn how to be an actor.

HBO

What would Michael be up to now?

Tristan Wilds

I think he would be a stick-up guy. A new age Robin Hood. He's a killer, but he's a killer with a conscience.

HBO

Do fans recognize you from 'The Wire'?

Tristan Wilds

Still. To this day.

HBO

What do they usually say to you?

Tristan Wilds

Nine times out of 10, it's going to be, ‘How my hair look, Mike?’

Watch The Wire

  1. NOW & GOAvailable