Monday, March 10, 2008


"The series finale was great but I think they could have emphasized the street side more. Fans watch 'The Wire' to see the gritty side, the drug dealers." Kwame Patterson aka Monk, HBO The Wire

Notorious for its innovative programming, HBO has churned out mega hit shows that have run circles around primetime pilots and have left them scrambling. Shows such as critically acclaimed The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Sex and the City and sleeper hits like The Wire, Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm offer an alternative to the melodrama surreal life painted on primetime television. Snubbed by mainstream award committees, 'The Wire' has continued to rack up street fame, critical acclaim and press accolades that resonate from the hood to the suburbs.

“This is TV as great modern literature, a shattering and heartbreaking urban epic about a city (Baltimore) rotting from within.”
– TV Guide

“The breadth and ambition of "The Wire" are unrivaled and that taken cumulatively over the course of a season -- any season -- it's an astonishing display of writing, acting and storytelling that must be considered alongside the best literature and filmmaking in the modern era.” – San Francisco Chronicle

“Brilliant, scathing, sprawling, The Wire has turned our indifference to urban decay into a TV achievement of the highest order.” – USA Today

“The Wire” is a beautiful, brave series. This is its best season yet.”
– New York Times on Season Four

What is it about this gritty crime drama that has me and millions proclaiming The Wire as one of the best, if not the best show on television? For once the critics and fans agree. This week, the grippingly dramatic, keep you on the edge of your seats season, comes to a sad but necessary end, with the series finale currently airing on HBO and on HBO On Demand. Just when Season Four gave me a taste, Season Five picked me right back up, pulling me in for more. Who could better answer the mysteries of The Wire's popularity than my personal friend, actor Kwame Patterson aka "Monk"

How did you land an audition for 'The Wire'?

By one of the casting directors who attended the play I was in, “As Cherry Hill Turns.” I played a character called Mike Mike. I was only supposed to be cast for one episode.

Who is Monk?
Marlo’s lieutenant. You have to go through the lieutenant to get the product. I’m the person who brings the drugs to you, I’mma bring you those keys. I also oversee the crews on the street. Like a business man. A personal assistant.

How close is Kwame to Monk?
In a past life, Kwame was pretty close to Monk. That’s what made it easy for me to step into the role. I grew up in that environment. I’ve seen a lot, been around a lot. Now Kwame and Monk are totally opposite.

What was it like to work on the set?
It was fun. Very family-oriented. No big egos (from what I can see). Everyone was welcoming with open arms. If I had any questions, they got answered. I enjoyed myself.

What was your favorite moment from 'The Wire'?
From season four, I’d have to say the scene where I was in the park, passing out money to the kids. I love kids. Even though I don’t have any. You couldn’t see it on camera but between takes we were having fun. With season five, it was that scene where Snoop and O’Dogg were shooting at cats on the corner. It was me driving that truck. The camera crew was in front of me and they had us do it like 20 times. I had to whip the corner at 100mph with only a few inches to spare to avoid hitting the film crew. Snoop and O’Dogg were all over the place. If they were shooting, they would have shoot each other. They were like “Dog, are you trying to kill us?” It was fun. We were laughing the whole time. I got to be stunt driver and got to speed legally at the same time.

Who was your favorite character on the show?
Snoop. She’s the realest thing on the show. Everything about her is real. Her name is actually Snoop. She did time. She led a tough life. It’s a blessing to see how far she’s come. She’s not really a character, she’s almost playing herself.

What can viewer’s expect from the Series Finale?

The series finale was great but I think they could have emphasized the street side more. Fans watch 'The Wire' to see the gritty side, the drug dealers.

What will happen to Marlo?

It’s a rumor going around that he’s gonna go fishing. His boat is gonna capsize and he’s gonna drown (laughs)

Will there be a new TV show similar to ‘The Wire’?

Yes. I think so. Sooner than people think actually.

Will they be releasing ‘The Wire’ movie?

There are rumors they are gonna make a movie but Lord knows when that’s gonna happen.

It was a pleasure interviewing you (in fake British accent)

It was a pleasure being interviewed by you (laughs)

To see more pictures of Kwame on the set of 'The Wire'

Visit Kwame Patterson on Myspace

Related Articles
HBO The Wire Finale Review-New York Times
Actors from 'The Wire' attend screening
HBO 'The Wire' Official Site
HBO 'The Wire' Message Boards

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was a nice interview there..You are definitely doing big things...Keep up the good work.