Actor Wendell Pierce has a column in the Washington Post this week about how artists like himself can help to change the way young people respond when tragedies like Freddie Gray happen in their communities.
Wendell Pierce starred in HBO’s The Wire and Treme. The Wire took place in Baltimore. He mentions the similarities between Baltimore and his hometown of New Orleans.
I’m not a native son of Baltimore, but the city welcomed me and became a second home during the seven years I lived there part-time filming “The Wire.” I know the neighborhood where Freddie Gray’s tragic death took place. I recognize the residents, who may be materially poor but are spiritually rich. And I feel the parallels between Baltimore and my hometown of New Orleans: majority-black cities struggling to emerge from years of economic decline and high unemployment.
Both have police forces that have been repeatedly accused of abuse, overstepping their boundaries as civil servants and responding to the people they’re sworn to protect as if they had no civil or human rights. In the case of both cities, citizens have had to watch as outside interests invest in and develop parts of their cities without the involvement or interest of lifelong residents. It seems, sometimes, that gentrifiers think they’ve discovered and rescued some treasure that no one else recognized or valued. And when they see rioting, of the kind that we saw this week in Baltimore, it only reinforces their perceptions. But nothing could be further from the truth.
He also states:
Ask economist Nouriel Roubini, who explains that in response to this crisis, the solution “can’t just be to send more police in the streets or the National Guard,” but instead, “We have to deal with this issue of poverty, of unemployment and economic opportunities.”
His column also mentions how the city of Baltimore has taken from the poor and invested heavily into the tourist area of the Inner Harbor, how he’s praying for Baltimore, his hometown of New Orleans and other cities, how their needs to be a trust created between the people and elected officials and continue to tell the untold stories of those who feel their voices don’t matter.
Check out the entire article here at the Washington Post.
Yesterday’s Washington Post has an interesting article about rising star Idris Elba.
I first laid eyes on Mr. Elba, aka Stringer Bell in the HBO series The Wire. After leaving the show he starred in many films including Sometimes in April, The Gospel, Daddy’s Little Girls, American Gangster, 28 Weeks Later and Obsessed. He’s currently starring in the film Takers.
By Vanessa Williams
Saturday, August 28, 2010; C01
Idris Elba, looking as cool and virile as the fictional Baltimore drug lord whom he so memorably played on the acclaimed HBO series “The Wire,” winces at the mention of the s-word.
“Sexy?” he repeats, shifting in his chair and wrinkling his brow in a convincing display of mild discomfort. “I’m a little sheepish about it. Whenever I meet fans and they’re like, ‘Oh, you’re so sexy,’ I just don’t get that. There’s no way one man can be universally sexy.”
It’s a good answer, because had he said, “Hell, yeah, I’m sexy!” even in that cute British accent of his, it wouldn’t at all jibe with the image of the sensually serious man whose face these days is all over magazine covers and television and movie screens.
Right now, Elba’s career as an actor also is hot.
And that is something he is not only comfortable with, but eager to talk about. Elba, through the character of Russell “Stringer” Bell, seduced a loyal following that crossed race, class and gender lines. He also has been the most successful acting alumnus of the series, appearing in a number of movies, such as “American Gangster” with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, and several episodes of the TV sitcom “The Office.”
His latest project, “Takers,” a heist flick starring the rapper T.I., Chris Brown and Matt Dillon, opened Friday. Once again, Elba plays a cerebral criminal, the head of a high-tech, high-class ring of thieves who rob banks for big bucks.
He is also back on premium cable TV, in a recurring role in Showtime’s new series “The Big C,” starring Laura Linney. He will play a love interest of her character, an uptight suburban homemaker who decides to let loose after learning she has terminal cancer. And last year, he was praised in England for his starring role in a new BBC cop drama, “Luther,” which U.S. fans will get to see later this year on BBC America.
Check out the entire Post article here.
Idris Elba’s slow and steady rise might speed up with this news: The Wire actor has been cast as Dr. Alex Cross in a reboot of the role that Morgan Freeman originated in Kiss the Girls and Along Came A Spider. Deadline reports that Elba will star in David Twohy’s adaptation of James Patterson’s novel Cross, the 12th book in the series, which follows the forensic psychologist as he tries to help nab a serial rapist and mutilator (Michael Sullivan, the Butcher of Sligo) who used to work for the mob and may have killed Cross’ pregnant wife years earlier.
I was checking out the Washington Post and saw a surprising and sad story. Writer and executive producer David Mills passed away yesterday.
He died of a brain aneurysm in New Orleans while working on the set of his new HBO series Treme.
By Jacqueline Trescott and Lisa de Moraes
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, March 31, 2010; 4:50 PM
David Mills, a Washington-born journalist and Emmy-winning television writer known for his work on gritty police dramas, died Tuesday in New Orleans, while working on the set of the upcoming HBO series “Treme,” his family and colleagues confirmed Wednesday. He was 48.
Mills, who grew up in Lanham and attended the University of Maryland, was also a staff writer for the Style section of The Washington Post in the early 1990s. He died of an apparent brain aneurysm while overseeing the day’s shooting of the “Treme” series, according to David Simon, Mills’s longtime friend and frequent collaborator.
“It happened very suddenly,” Simon said in an interview Wednesday. Sitting in a director’s chair, Mills “lost consciousness . . . slumped in the chair and never regained consciousness,” according to Simon, who was not on the set at the time but learned details from eyewitnesses.
As a script writer, Mills was attracted to the hard street life of America’s cities. With college newspaper friend Simon, Mills contributed to HBO’s acclaimed five-season drama “The Wire,” which used Baltimore a setting for a conversation about the disintegration of U.S. inner cities. Mills also wrote for NBC’s “Homicide: Life on the Street,” a series based on Simon’s book.
Mills was executive producer of Simon’s “The Corner,” a precursor to “The Wire” focused on a drug-infested corner of Baltimore.
“He was a very good listener,” Simon said. “He was great at dialogue because he listened to people. He often seemed to be not engaged when he was very engaged. He was quite a shy person in a lot of ways.”
“Treme,” set to debut April 11, begins in fall 2005, three months after Hurricane Katrina. HBO said it follows musicians, chefs, Mardi Gras Indians and ordinary New Orleanians as they try to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of the hurricane and the levee failure that caused the near-death of the city.
Before writing for television, David worked at the Washington Post and the Washington Times. He also wrote for the Diamondback newspaper while he was a student at the University of Maryland.
Treme is scheduled to premiere on HBO on Sunday April 11.
I’m a huge fan of David’s work including The Wire, Homicide: Life on the Street and The Corner.
RIP David Mills.
Lance Reddick has lots not to smile about
The ‘Lost’ and ‘Fringe’ actor makes an impression playing coldly formidable chaps.
By Greg Braxton
Lance Reddick doesn’t get to smile a lot on the job.
As federal agent Phillip Broyles in Fox’s hit drama “Fringe,” he is icy — and possibly sinister — as the head of an interagency team investigating a pattern of bizarre, deadly incidents. Flip the channel and you might also catch the Baltimore-born-and-raised actor in his recurring role as the stern and smartly dressed Matthew Abaddon, whose last name may be a fearful omen for the survivors of the plane crash of ABC’s “ Lost.”
And he was rarely happy in his best-known role as the ambitious Lt. Cedric Daniels in HBO’s “The Wire,” where his character was trapped between the political miasma of the Baltimore Police Department and the never-ending wave of drug dealers wreaking havoc in the inner city.
Given his gallery of strait-laced characters, it’s almost surprising to see Reddick flash a real smile away from the cameras. In fact, he’s almost unrecognizable from his on-screen personas, appearing younger, less worldly and a bit self-conscious.
During a recent interview at his manager’s office, he apologized to a photographer who was directing him: “I’m sorry, I’m not terribly visual,” he said quietly. But Reddick’s modesty cannot stop him from acknowledging that he’s on a hot streak. In addition to bouncing between two hot dramas, he’s also doing voice-overs for Cadillac commercials and is planning to revive a music career.
“It’s true; things are pretty good right now,” said Reddick, whose character is a key figure in tonight’s “Lost” episode. “I went from being on one of the most critically acclaimed shows on television to one of the hottest shows on television.”
“Lost” executive producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof said they felt very fortunate to have brought the fearsome-looking actor into their spooky serialized hit.
“One of the things we really gravitated toward was that Lance is very scary looking, and he’s a very intensive actor who also has this incredible charisma,” said Lindelof.
Added Cuse: “What he does incredibly well is deliver exposition, and the audience isn’t aware of it. That’s an incredibly rare skill to find in an actor.”
But even with his career flourishing, Reddick remains wary of the fickle nature of the business.
You can read the entire article here.
I first saw Lance in the HBO series The Wire. It’s good to see his excellent work in The Wire has landed him other acting jobs.
Check out Lance Reddick’s official website.
Yeah I know I’m a few days late. So Happy New Year to ya anyway!!
I haven’t been spending too much time on the internet in the past few weeks. Is that a good thing? Who knows? Will it last? I doubt it. I’ve been checking my emails and visiting a few of my favorite sites. But I’ve been spending alot of time these past few weeks watching dvds and catching up on my movies I recorded on my dvr. I’ve been watching The Wire through Netflix. Excellent tv show. Yesterday I finished watching Season 3, episode 5-7. I mailed my dvds this morning so I should be getting my next group of dvds on Wednesday. I have the entire series in my queue. I noticed quite a few familiar faces from Homicide Life on the Street appearing in The Wire. Could The Wire be the next tv show I end up buying at Amazon.com? The complete series is available at Amazon. I did buy the entire Gilmore Girls collection. Amazon.com had each season below $16.00 each. What a bargain!!!!! So I now own the entire Gilmore Girls series. I bought the complete dvd set for Homicide Life on the Street last summer.
If you’re looking for a very interesting horror film check out 30 Days of Night. I saw it on cable and I have to say it was pretty good. The movie is about an Alaska town that’s invaded by vampires during the period when the town stays dark for 30 days. I watched this movie right before it was time for me to go to bed. Not a good idea, lol.