THE WIRE - Must Read Oral History of the Incredible Series

TVHBOThe Wireby Joey Paur

I've said it before and I'll say it again, HBO's The Wire is one of the great TV series ever made. If you still haven't seen it yet please make the time to watch it. I promise you won't regret it. In fact, you'll kick yourself in the ass for not having watched it sooner. 

It's been 10 years since the show premiered on HBO, and Maxim has posted a fantastic oral history of the show. The creator of the show David Simon, writer/co-exec producer Ed Burns, and stars Dominic WestIdris ElbaMichael K. Williamsand several more pretty much discuss everything about the show. How it came into existence, the frustrations of working in Baltimore, what they did in their downtime, how they felt when Emmy voters ignored the show, and how the actors handled their characters getting killed off. 

This is seriously a great read, and I highly suggest you check it out, especially if you're a fan of the show. Reading through it make me want to start watching the show all over again. Thankfully I have HBO GO!

In the mid-1980s David Simon, a police reporter for the Baltimore Sun, met Ed Burns, a homicide detective in the midst of a major case involving local drug kingpin and folk hero Melvin Williams. Key evidence in the case was gathered using wiretap surveillance.

Thats how the show was born. Here's a few bits from the article I picked out to get you started,

Michael B. Jordan (Wallace, Barksdale gang dealer): This is some real shit. It was real to the point where crackheads would come up and try to cop. I had fake money, and they would come over, and an exchange would go down. I would think they were part of the crew, and I’d make the exchange. Then security would come around and be like, “No! No! No!” and break it up. I was like, “Oh, shit! That’s really a crack-head! I’m sorry! I’m not really a drug dealer!”

Wendell Pierce (Det. William “Bunk” Moreland): The great thing about shooting in Baltimore was we were each other’s best company. We worked hard, long hours, but we partied hard, too, man. One bar made the mistake of having celebrity-bartender night. It happened one time, and one time only! That’s all I need to say!

Idris Elba: We smoked a lot of good weed, did a lot of strip clubs. A lot of that.

Wendell Pierce: One day David came up to us when we shooting and said, “I’m writing a scene right now for you guys, and I want you to do the whole scene, but you can only say the word fuck.”

Domenic West: 44 fucks? It’s about 20 too many. We even added some in post-production. It came out of something a cop had said to David once, and he thought that he could write an entire report only using the word fuck.

This is one of my favorite scenes in the whole series.... read the full article here.

Dennis Lehane (writer): The Wire didn’t really become The Wire until late in the fourth season. That’s when it became a different thing. You can feel this perception change. We were the sort of well-respected, sort of ugly cousin of The Sopranos. HBO was so supportive, and yet at the same time, at the end of the day, they were saying, “if you don’t get any love during season 4, we’re not sure we’re coming back for 5.”  And then something really beautiful happened.

Wendell Pierce: The fourth season really had an effect on me. There was never an explanation of why we have this dysfunction in our society like you see in season four. What makes the corner boy? What makes one person go one direction and one person go the other?

Robert Wisdom: At the time they had “No Child Left Behind,” and all we were seeing was all the kids left behind. It was really played out in real time in the most powerful way. Finding boxes of books and computers, all unopened. Those were real finds, and going home at the end of the night, turning on the news and hearing bullshit about education from the politicians.

Ok, now you can read the full article. Sorry, there's just so much cool and interesting stuff here!

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