The Wire Tap: Jamie Hector


Fans of The Wire, hold

your heads high as one of the greatest shows on television readies for the grand

finale on March 9.


Despite our looming angst about the end of the series, we

have some young new characters to add to our “favorite gangster” lists. At the front of the pack is Marlo Stanfield,

played impeccably by the amicably stoic actor Jamie Hector.


We spoke with Jamie in 2005 about Season Three as Marlo was

beginning to take his place in the streets, and in 2007 about Season Four as

Marlo’s power grew; so it was only right to round out “The Wire Tap” on with Jamie’s take on Marlo Stanfield and what his fictional

legacy means to the fans. His name is his name, after all.


Thankfully, there is life after The Wire for Jamie. His many projects include his current role on

the popular NBC series Heroes, some

new movie roles, his Royal Addiction clothing line, and of course his endless

work with young people interested in show business. He told us all about his

new ventures, and gave us some serious insight on what makes Marlo Stanfield

tick. Marlo is making some major power moves this season,

and most are very calculated. Everything seems to be happening exactly as

he wants it to. Did he feel confident from the beginning that his

plans would work as well as they are, or is he a little surprised that it’s

been almost too easy?


Jamie Hector: No, Marlo is not surprised by how things are going.

Marlo has always gotten advice from his elders, he values wisdom and he never

makes a move without it. You’re right, his moves are very calculated – but it’s

not just that he has confidence in himself; he also has confidence in who he

chooses to listen to. By them surviving the game for so long, seeing those before

him come and go. Even Prop Joe had a lot of knowledge to offer, and Marlo made

sure to get it all before he saw him off. Now that Marlo has recruited Cheese, killed Prop

Joe and Omar is dead, is he feeling like he’s gaining full control of the city?

Or is he still wary of any of the OG’s or even the cops trying to tip

him over?


Jamie: Marlo is always wary. He doesn’t trust any of them. Marlo

doesn’t underestimate anybody. How did Marlo really feel about having to go

through Avon to get to the Greeks? It seemed like Avon

recognized the situation as a necessary business move on his side.


Jamie: It was a necessary business move, and that’s all it was…

business. Marlo has been introduced to text/photo

messaging for the first time, which put a twist on the wire tap. Do you find it

ironic that someone this street-savvy could be so behind in basic

technological advancements?


Jamie: Not at all, Marlo deals with simplicity, he doesn’t like to

talk in general, so picture him texting anybody unless it was absolutely

necessary. To Marlo, texting is for people who like to talk too much. Does Marlo worry about his legacy (or

longevity) in the streets, or is he more concerned with the “here and

now” as he makes his moves?


Jamie: Right now, Marlo is concerned with the “here and now.” It’s

a different mentality from someone who works a 9-to-5 and has a retirement

plan. Marlo is such a strong character. If you had your

choice of what kind of character you could play next, what would it be?


Jamie: A character like Dawit in the book My Soul To Keep by Tananarive Due, a character with unbearable

obstacles where you can see through his journey that he had to grow. There are

so many characters that I plan to do. Bottom line, great work You’ve done a lot of mentoring work with kids over

the past few years. What kind of projects are you working with these days to

inspire young people?


Jamie: Well, we changed the name of organization from GBU to

Moving Mountains Inc. because we have been expanding. We work with kids who are

interested in learning the business from acting to working behind the scenes

with production, script writing, stage design, etc.  We also work to cover all areas of obstacles

that can block them from reaching their goals. 


For example some kids are very talented but may need help

academically, so we provide that help or maybe need some advice, or issues at

home. What is really a beautiful thing is

how when people hear what you’re doing, they are quick to offer to come on

board as mentors. How is your clothing line coming along? What are

your plans this year with that?


Jamie: The clothing line is doing better than we expected. Right

now it’s in stores all across the country, but you know the flag ship store is

in BK! Brooklyn!  We get a lot of support

from the community and I’m getting a lot of support from people in the

industry. It’s a good line, Royal Addiction is high quality the designs are

hot! What are you working on next?


Jamie: Well, first of all, I’m glad the [writer’s] strike is over.

Before the strike I was working on Heroes,

in the role of Benjimin Knox Washington, so I really can’t wait to get back to

work on that.  As far as the films, I

like to keep things under wraps until they come out. Your portrayal of Marlo is already going down in

history as one of the best gangsters in film/tv with fans. When all is said and

done in your career, how do you want people to remember you as an actor and a



Jamie: Thank you. Wow, I loved playing Marlo. The writers,

producers, directors and cast on The Wire

were the best. As far as how I would like to be remembered? I think it’s still

too soon to be answering that kind of a question. I think my best work as an

actor is still yet to come, so I can’t answer that. As a person? [laughs] What are you trying to

write me off or something?

[Note: to those of you who

thought you’d watch Episode 60, entitled “-30-“ tonight On Demand… forget it.

HBO isn’t making the finale available until its official air date of March 9.

*shakes fist at the sky* The good news is that it will be a whopping 93 minutes

long – the longest episode ever!]

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