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REST IN PEACE TO MICHAEL K. WILLIAMS
FROM BROTHA ASH PRODUCTIONS MEDIA PUBLICATION
Big shoutouts to 360 Entertainment for inviting Brotha Ash Productions to this event and for bringing the event to the 'Burgh. Other shoutouts go to Mike Williams, Tyrell Baker and Hassan Johnson for kickin' it with Brotha Ash Productions. Shoutouts to my colleagues J-Kruz of WAMO 106.7FM, Deavon and Brett of U-WEB TV, and a major shoutout goes to my fam, Dana Ramsey for her major contribution to the EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW. Congratulations to our BAP Winners Denise Lamar and Shelly Hundley for having a chance to meet and take photos with the cast.
One-on-one with ‘Omar’ and ‘Wee Bey’
By Ashley G. Woodson with contributions by Dana Ramsey
For Brotha Ash Productions Media Publication 2006
Stars of 'The Wire' visit city
The word around the corner and the watercooler is that HBO’s gritty “The Wire” is must-see TV. Unlike the other cop shows, “The Wire” keeps it real, drawing on the true-to-life experiences of writer and producer Edward Burns, who did time on the mean streets of Baltimore as a social studies teacher and a 20-year veteran of a police detective unit.
PART 1 - Hasson Johnson aka "Wee Bey"
Q: What's your name?
Hassan Johnson and I'm 28 years old.
Q: Anything you would like to tell us about "The Wire" and your career?
It's been a long time coming. Anything worth having is a struggle, but I've been loving it. "The Wire" is a good stepping-stone and catalyst in building my career up for sure and it's definitely looking more positive since the show came back on in 2002.
Q: Will you have a more definite role in Season 5?
It's hard to say because "Wee Bey" is in jail for 25 to life and it just depends on what direction they want to take it. I may or may not come back because it's not definite.
Q: The interview from HBO mentioned that it's a day-to-day writing situation. How true is that?
Yeah, that's something that we have to worry about all of the time. The script is day to day.
Q: Is your character and life anywhere near "Wee Bey's" character?
No. I grew up in the street and everything, but I'm not a killer and I'm nothing like how "Wee Bey" was. Of course "Wee Bey" had a soft side and you got to see that with his family situations he would go through. Other than that, I'm not a "Wee Bey". I'm a good guy. I'm a father and my daughter is 9 years old and I take care of my family. "Wee Bey" did take care of his family too, but he was more street-oriented. My path just isn't that street.
Q: What city are you originally from?
Stanton Island, New York and that is where I still stay and reside.
Q: Some fans were not sure if they would be able to watch "The Wire" after "Stringer Bell" died. Do you agree?
Oh yeah, that was a big deal.
Q: The writers were Caucasian, but the actors are real and African American. What's your take on that?
We made up for it in certain respects and certain departments so the realness made up for everything.
PART 2 - Tyrell Baker aka "Little Kevin" & Pittsburgh's Own Carl Clemons from Episode 49
Q: Little Kevin was actually killed in Season 4. Is that correct?
We don't know what "The Wire" has in store for me.
Q: What's next for Tyrell Baker?
I don't know what to tell you right now because I'm just networking and doing different things trying to get my name and face out there. First, let me say I'm happy to be here and I thank you and appreciate it. I'm just working on bigger stuff and preparing for the future.
Q: How old are you?
I'm 20 years old.
Q: You're representing Pittsburgh in a major way!
Yeah, I'm just happy to be doing what I'm doing. I'm grateful to be the one to put Pittsburgh on the map in this way and I look forward to future projects. I'm in episode 49 from Season 4, so check me out.
PART 3 - Michael K. Williams aka "Omar"
Q: Where are you from Michael?
Brooklyn, New York
Q: It's 1pm now and your fans have been waiting for you since 9pm.
How do you feel about that?
I literally ran off of a set to be here. I'm down in Connecticut right now filming a movie with Eve and my schedule is kind of tight. I had to make a decision on whether to let Pittsburgh down or not. So I decided to walk off the set. Pittsburgh is a beautiful city and I will definitely be back. I'm going to do some things for the community and go talk to the kids and spread some love out here. I'm also going to bring my girl, Felicia Pearson aka "Snoop" back to the 'Burgh. She's working right now, but when we come back, we're going to do it right and put it down for Pittsburgh. Big up to the Steelers, the Black & Gold and Brotha Ash Productions for holding Pittsburgh down.
Q: How do you feel about "The Wire" coming to BET Television?
It's a good thing because the more people it reaches, the better. It's the American story. I have to give big ups to Idris Elba for holding us down Seasons 1-3.
Q: Does HBO get the credit for bringing us "The Wire"?
HBO cannot take all of the credit for bringing "The Wire" to the masses. You really got to give BIG UPS to David Simon, Ed Burns, Nina Nobles and others. Those are the people behind "The Wire", not HBO. They threw the money at us, but they can't take the credit.
Check out our EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS from the event RIGHT HERE.