Fans of the fiery final season of The Wire (Sunday at 9 pm/ET on HBO) know that drug kingpin Marlo Stanfield (Jamie Hector) is an ice-cold killer who, after one particularly dastardly murder two weeks ago, is hiding out from revenge-seeking stickup artist Omar (Michael K. Williams). Recently, though, Marlo's portrayer, Jamie Hector, did surface... for a signing of the new Wire soundtrack at the HBO store in Midtown Manhattan. At the signing, Hector told TVGuide.com that he'll be moving from street-corner killing to supernatural evil-doing — as the new "villain" on Heroes. (NBC reps, however, wouldn't confirm this casting news.) But the soft-spoken actor wouldn't reveal much about himself or his new character's superpower. "It's not good," he says simply. Sounds like his character on The Wire.
Hector's right-hand man Chris (Gbenga Akinnagbe) and Baltimore "po-po" Det. Lester Freamon (Clarke Peters) and Det. Leandor Sydnor (Corey Parker Robinson) also came out to sing the praises of The Wire: "… All the Pieces Matter," a compilation that contains the first four versions of the famous Wire theme song "Way Down in the Hole" — by artists like the Neville Brothers, Tom Waits and Baltimore act DoMaJe — as well as the closing-credits song "The Fall" and 30 additional tracks. But which "straight and narrow track"s do the actors themselves prefer? "The two numbers that really resonate for me," says Peters, "are Michael Franti's 'Oh My God' and the original theme by the Blind Boys. The Blind Boys [version] I like because it's the first one, and everything after that seems to be... trying," he adds with a Lester-like chuckle. And Hector's favorite? He must have some Irish in him, because his favorite track is The Pogues' "The Body of an American," the song sung by the BPD gang at Ray Cole's barside wake in the Season 3 episode "Dead Soldiers."
Dead soldiers indeed — these butchers of Baltimore are churning them out at their fastest rate ever. So far this season, Marlo, Snoop and Chris have already put Prop Joe, Butchie and a handful of others "way down in the hole" — and we're only five episodes in. Akinnagbe — who appreciates the variations on the show's blues-drenched theme song because "they're so different, yet it's the same song, which is great" — agrees that Chris has a stressful work life these days. "He's a career man," says Akinnagbe. "[He's got] no girlfriends. Marlo has 'friends,' but Chris is really indifferent to all that.... Or maybe he hasn't met the right girl yet." This season, though, viewers did get to see a bit of Chris' family for the first time, when we watched him say goodbye to a woman and a child on a peaceful suburban front lawn. But don't mistake that lady for a lady friend, he says: "That's supposed to be my sister. I don't think that was clear [to viewers]."
What is clear is that The Wire's cast is keeping busy, strikes and final seasons be damned. Akinnagbe has a role in the critically acclaimed The Savages and will also star in the upcoming off-Broadway play Lower Ninth, about two men stranded on a rooftop in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Between that and Hector's Hero-ic casting coup, it looks like all The Wire pieces really do matter.
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