'The Wire' Actors: Where Are They Now?
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Like most "Wire" fans who deeply and un-healthily lament the loss of a beloved masterpiece, the mere mention of anyone associated with the HBO ensemble drama sends simultaneous shivers of fear and joy and heartache through my bones. When one grows so attached to a group of characters, seeing them out of context feels like some sort of cruel joke.
"Hey! What's Avon Barksdale doing on an episode of "House?" He's supposed to be in prison. This isn't possible. This just isn't possible."
(That is a blockquote of me talking to my television screen during a rerun of "House," in case you were curious.)
Indeed, though we might secretly wish they'd all cut the crap and fold back onto the streets of Baltimore for the "Wire" reunion season some dream about on a nightly basis, it's important to keep track of these incredible actors and their current goings-on. Many of the shows' finest performers are reemerging all over the place, doing some of the best work of their careers.
So behold, below, our guide to some of your favorite "Wire" actors and their current whereabouts. And feel free to share your favorite post-"Wire" performance in the comments.
Clarke Peters (Lester)
On "The Wire," Peters' Lester was a triple-threat -- providing quiet intelligence in the office, while also maintaining a crafting hobby and unwavering luck with the ladies. In real life, Peters is an actor as well as a Tony-award-nominated writer, and musician, and can currently be seen as the title character in a critically-praised version of "Othello" in Sheffield, UK, along with his "Wire" costar Dominic West (McNulty) as Iago. <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2011/sep/04/dominic-west-clarke-peters-interview-othello?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487" target="_hplink">Look at these goofballs </a>goofin' around together! He's also one of the leads on David Simon's newest HBO drama, "Treme."
Dominic West (McNulty)
McNulty's been off the sauce and taking on a plethora of serious roles in recent months -- on stage and screen. He recently drew accolades for a starring role in "Butley" at London's Duchess Theatre, and equal amounts of praise for the BBC newsroom miniseries, "The Hour," which <em>Time</em> called the "best new show of the summer." Right now he's Iago to Clarke Peters' "Othello..."
Wendell Pierce (Bunk)
Bunk as B.B King? Pierce is attached to a 2012 film in which he'd portray the blues legend, as well as a host of other films on the docket. Among the future highlights: a role in the first installment of the "Twilight: Breaking Dawn" two-parter, and a 2012 Jason Statham thriller co-starring Jennifer Lopez and Nick Nolte. He also has a lead role in David Simon's "Treme," which was recently renewed for a third season. Another little known Pierce fact: he hosts the Peabody Award-winning radio show, "Jazz at Lincoln Center."
Idris Elba (Stringer Bell)
Our beloved Stringer Bell has probably been the busiest of all "Wire" alums. Aside from spots on People Magazine's "100 Most Beautiful People" and a host of other "Good Looking People" magazines of late, he's also got at least three big budget films in the can, including Ridley Scott's "Prometheus" and the newest "Ghost Rider" romp. And he's a musician, to boot, recording a string of EPs as his alter-ego, King Driis, and appearing on albums from Jay-Z and Busta Rhymes. But Elba was most recently seen on the other side of the law -- as a detective on <a href="http://www.bbcamerica.com/content/413/index.jsp" target="_hplink">the BBC's "Luther," </a>one of the most exciting new TV series in years.
Wood Harris (Avon Barksdale)
Avon Barksdale is an NYU drama-school-trained actor, in case you didn't know, and he'll be heading back to the Broadway stage in early 2012 for a remount of "A Streetcar Named Desire" in the role of Mitch, pal of Stanley's and potential lover of Blanche. Blair Underwood and Daphne Rubin-Vega are set to co-star.
Sonja Sohn (Kima Greggs)
Our favorite lady-loving, badass drug cop Kima can now be seen every week on ABC's "Body of Proof" as a homicide detective. She's also the founder and CEO of <a href="http://rewiredforchange.org/" target="_hplink">"Rewired for Change,"</a> a nonprofit based in Baltimore that seeks to benefit at-risk youth in under-served communities. The organization was founded by multiple cast members of "The Wire," though Sohn is the most directly involved.
Lance Reddick (Lieutenant Daniels)
The hard-working Reddick was steadfast and steely as Daniels on "The Wire" and can now be seen as equally hard-edged Philip Broyles on JJ Abrams' "Fringe," which airs weekly on Fox. Apparently he also voiced "Ben/Fish #12" on an episode of "SpongeBob SquarePants this year." That's good. The guy needs to laugh a bit.
Michael K. Williams (Omar Little)
Omar comin. Onto your TV set! You see? You see how I did that? I combined a "Wire" reference with a real life, true sentence. This fall, Williams will be all over your TV box, with his starring role in "Boardwalk Empire" and as a biology professor on NBC's "Community" (which he debuted last night.) Let's hope he never leaves us.
Domenick Lombardozzi (Herc)
Lawman turned government-lackey Herc was recently seen on the A&E drama, "Breakout Kings," which premiered last spring and was renewed for a second season.
Andre Royo (Bubbles)
Fresh off guest spots on "Fringe," "Party Down," and "Memphis Beat," Bubbles is in full effect, with at least eight films in some stage of production. Among the hopefuls is 2012's "Shoedog" with Ethan Hawke and Kris Kristofferson, and the big budget Tuskegee Airmen adventure, "Red Tails," with Terence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr. Also, sidenote, this might be the best picture of Andre Royo of all time. He should be an action figure.
Jamie Hector (Marlo Stanfield)
Since "The Wire" went off the air, taking brutal criminal mastermind Marlo Stanfield along with it, Hector has maintained a string of guest spots on shows like "Lie to Me," "Mercy," "Heroes," and "CSI: Miami." But like his co-star Sonja Sohn, he also dedicates a good portion of his time to a non-profit mentoring organization. Moving Mountains, which aids inner-city youth in pursuing their artistic goals, was founded by Hector, and hopefully does not employ Chris and Snoop in any capacity whatsoever.
Maestro Harrell (Randy)
Harrell broke hearts with his portrayal of nice guy turned aggressive-foster-kid Randy in Season 4, and now you can check him out as Malik on ABC's new suburban comedy, "Suburgatory," which will air on Wednesday nights this fall.
Michael B. Jordan (Wallace)
Who can forget Wallace's disturbing exit from "The Wire" in the hands of his two best friends, Poot and Bodie. "You guys are my boys." "Where's the boy, String? Where's the boy?" Oh, Wallace, we hardly knew ye. Luckily Jordan had some of his best days ahead of him, taking the fourth and fifth seasons of "Friday Night Lights" by storm. His turn as Vince on the acclaimed NBC drama was powerful and underrated. He also put in a couple series of ABC's "Parenthood." He'll reunite with Andre Royo (Bubbles) in the Tuskegee Airmen drama, "Red Tails," later this year.
Aidan Gillen (Councilman Carcetti)
The Tony-nominated (and Irish) Gillen has recently been scaling down (in height, not talent) as Petyr Baelish on HBO's "Game of Thrones."
Chad L. Coleman (Cutty)
Our heroic boxing coach Cutty can be seen in this fall's new Fox comedy, "I Hate My Teenage Daughter" as the ex-husband of Katie Finneran's lead character. He'll also be reuniting with Andre Royo in the upcoming film drama, "Shoedog."
Tristan Wilds (Michael Lee)
Wilds currently stars as one of the leads on the very silly-but-successful reboot of "90210."
CORRECTION:Avon Barksdale did not die on "The Wire." When we left him, he was still in prison. Head has been hung in shame and correction has been made. As punishment/reward, I will re-watch all five seasons.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this post incorrectly identified Tristan Wilds as Chad L. Coleman. It has since been updated.