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LAist Interview: The Wire's Jamie Hector

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For those us who don't have HBO on Demand, we are just two days away from the season premiere of the fifth and final season of The Wire. Today, we're closing out our series of interviews, which has included Tristan Wilds and Andre Royo, with Jamie Hector who plays the king of the drug game on Baltimore's West side, Marlo Stanfield.

Are you going to miss working on this show?

Definitely, I have enjoyed this journey.

Was it emotional saying goodbye?
It was emotional for everyone on that last day. We're all going to miss being a part of such a great show. People were definitely shedding tears on our final day on the set. It's a tough to walk away from this incredible cast.

Is it hard walking away from the role of Marlo Stanfield?
I have enjoyed the chance to explore Marlo's life. I enjoy playing Marlo so much. It is great getting to be someone who is totally opposite from who you are. I enjoy playing any character as long as it has meat and there is plenty of meat in Marlo.

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Why is Chris (Marlo's henchman played by Gbenga Akinnagbe) so loyal to Marlo? Is that loyalty based on fear?
It's not fear. That loyalty Chris has shown is based on respect he has for Marlo's leadership. He respects the hard work Marlo has put in to working his way up to the position that he is in right now as the top guy.

Why does Marlo reach out to Michael (Tristan Wilds)? What does he see in Michael?
He sees himself in Michael. He was just like Michael, he wouldn't take anything from anyone. Michael knows that once they start supplying you, they own you. So as you see early on, Michael doesn't put his hand out for anyone or anything. Marlo sees that and likes that Michael has this knowledge at such a young age.

I, like many other people jumped into the show last season. What was it about Season Four that helped increase this show's popularity?

The kids. It was definitely the kids and their storylines. The show was incredible even before we touched on the troubles of the school system and the things that these kids were having to go through on a daily basis. Then you add in something like the paths of these four kids, that's something that everyone can really feel. You watch what they had to go through, the coldness that the world our characters live in and how this life is forced upon them, you just have to feel for them. It's universal. Everyone was affected by the kids. Parents watch season four and think that could be their kids. The kids made people watch.

What can we expect from Marlo this season?

You can expect him to keep climbing the ladder of what he considers success. Marlo is going to constantly try to get more. That's what drives him. This season, he wants more than just money, he wants power. Power beyond power.

What do you enjoy the most about shooting in Baltimore?

In one word, Snoop (Laughs). Snoop is Baltimore. If we weren't shooting in Baltimore we would have never known her. She's got a story to tell, she actually has a book out right now about her life. Getting to meet her has definitely been a highlight of my time on this show. She is hilarious, she keeps me laughing. I also enjoy getting to be around all of the characters that make Baltimore Baltimore. I really enjoy being around the people of Baltimore.

How has the writer's strike affected your career?
Well, actually I shot a couple episodes of "Heroes" that unfortunately have not been seen yet as a result of the strike. Also, I think the writer's strike's impact on the award shows will definitely affect some great films. Great movies that aren't necessarily going to bring in huge audiences at the theaters really rely on things like the Golden Globes to help get the word out. The Great Debaters for example is such a great film and an incredible story that deserves to be acknowledged.

Tell me more about your role on "Heroes."
My character's name is Benjamin "Knox" Washington. I can't say too much about it though.

Why are fans of The Wire so passionate about this show?
Fans are passionate because they enjoy good TV and they enjoy seeing our storylines that take on the establishments. We know we live in a world of corruption but that corruption isn't brought to life all that often in our entertainment, and when it is it's not always done accurately or realistically. The Wire has tackled corruption of various establishments and has done so in a way that viewers can recognize and relate to. For those on the other side, the ones living in corruption we're giving them a mirror to look into. This show is letting them know that their actions aren't going unnoticed.