Oral histories, in which TV creators and stars wax on about our favorite shows in the pages of magazines, are like crack for fans, and Marc Spitz's oral history of The Wire in Maxim is no exception.
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There are so many things worth pointing to here, but here's how show creators David Simon and Ed Burns created Omar Little, everyone's (including President Obama's) favorite gay stick-up man played by Michael K. Williams:
David Simon: Omar was a combination of various guys Ed had used as informants or knew. He was an amalgam.
Ed Burns: The Omars of the world are warriors, too. They’re the guys who despise the drug dealers. He’s the rebel, and he goes by his own code. When I was a cop, you’d look for guys like this. If you’re sticking up drug dealers, you have to carry a gun. And if you’re carrying a gun, I can lock you up. Pretty simple math. Once I lock you up, then we sit down, and we start talking, and then we start going to the State’s Attorney’s office, going to the judge, making deals. So I knew a lot of Omars, and Michael K. Williams did a phenomenal job.
Reading this stuff is like talking to your parents years later about all the behind-the-scenes family drama you never knew was going on at Thanksgiving as a kid. Wait, that might sound painful, but reading this oral history is nothing of the kind. Highly recommended!