Tristan Wilds Thinks Michael Would Be a 'New Age Robin Hood'
Will you watch the re-air?
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.
Did you have a sense of what the show's impact would be when you joined in Season 4?
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.
Of the five seasons, do you have a favorite?
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?’
Do you have memories of the four of you on set?
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.
What lines or moments most stand out to you?
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.
Which of Michael's lines do you remember the most?
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.
Besides Michael, did you have a favorite character?
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.
What did you most appreciate about being part of the show?
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.
What would Michael be up to now?
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.
Do fans recognize you from 'The Wire'?
Still. To this day.
What do they usually say to you?
Nine times out of 10, it's going to be, ‘How my hair look, Mike?’