There’s not a dry eye in the ‘hood today. After five seasons of keeping us intrigued, scared and excited, “The Wire” is over. It’s all over: intelligent storytelling, seamless acting and out-of-nowhere plot twists. For fans of the show, TV couldn’t get much better. “The Wire” ended with nothing less than what we expected, showing that political officials and law enforcement are just as corrupt as the crooks they’re supposed to be policing. While a lot of us are hoping for a film adaptation, some of the show’s best actors are getting recognized and will be popping up in a slew of roles soon. We did our own roll call to keep you in the know.
Character: Omar Little
Government Name: Michael Kenneth Williams
Went Out …: With a bang ! In episode eight, Omar was shot in the head, murdered by preteen corner boy Kennard while purchasing a pack of “New-paawwwwts!”
Life After: The big screen, baby. Williams has a role in Spike Lee’s upcoming World War II drama “Miracle at St. Anna” alongside fellow HBO alum James “Tony Soprano” Gandolfini. And oh yeah, there’s the potential summer blockbuster “The Hulk” to relaunch. “Let’s just say old Omar goes toe to toe with the Hulk,” Williams told MTV News. Brother Mouzone would be proud.
Character: Michael Lee
Government Name: Tristan Wilds
Went Out …: With guns blazing. After giving one of his mentors, Snoop, an unceremonious bullet-catalyzed farewell, we thought Mike might flee to a neighboring county, like Montgomery or Prince George’s, and lay low. Nah. It’s not in the young’n’s demeanor. He’s going to be a problem, robbing the dealers’ banks and stash houses just like Omar did before him.
Life After: Big things are up ahead for Wilds, who can currently be seen as one of the faces of Jay-Z’s Rocawear clothing line. He’s set to star alongside Dakota Fanning, Alicia Keys and Queen Latifah in “The Secret Life of Bees,” due out next year. And although he wouldn’t go into too many details regarding the flick (none, actually), the movie is based on Sue Monk Kidd’s critically acclaimed novel of the same name. Wilds was also tight-lipped about his music ambitions (he only told us he has ‘em). Guess the boy ain’t no snitch after all.
Character: Chris Partlow
Government Name: Gbenga Akinnagbe
Went Out …: Taking one for the team. You could almost hear K-Ci and JoJo singing, “Liiiiife, liiiiiife/ Liiiiiife, liiiiife.” In an under-the-table deal, Chris agreed to fall on his sword and plead guilty to more than 20 homicides in exchange for his boss, Marlo, to walk. He’ll never see that beautiful B-more Harbor in real life again, but his family will be well taken care of.
Life After: Akinnagbe — who also starred in the short-lived “Barbershop” television show — has parlayed his brutish allure onto the silver screen and the off-Broadway stages. He was featured in the Academy Award-nominated “The Savages,” and next summer he’ll star with Denzel Washington and John Travolta in the remake of “The Taking of Pelham 123.” Currently, Akinnagbe can be caught in New York on a nightly basis in the play “Lower Ninth” as a New Orleans man victimized by the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
Character: Marlo Stanfield
Government Name: Jamie Hector
Went Out …: On top. In the finale, we saw that the corner was still calling him, but “giving up the crown” wasn’t even a question when the cops gave him an ultimatum: Get out of the game and walk away with all his money, or go to jail. He also handed over ties to his drug connection (for a mere $10 million, give or take $900,000). Yes, the drug lord, who spent most of his tenure with a demeanor that was even calmer than Jay-Z’s, finally came around and figured out what Stringer Bell tried to tell him all those years ago: Your time as King of the Streets can only run but for so long.
Life After: As one of the show’s breakout stars, you get the feeling that Hector is going to be good in anything he does. He’s reported to have a part in the film “Notorious” as Notorious B.I.G.’s best friend, Damien “D-Rock” Butler. He’s also in the upcoming Mos Def film “Bury Me Standing.”
Character: Melvin “Cheese” Wagstaff
Government Name: Method Man (well obviously he wasn’t born with that name, but that’s how we all know and love him)
Went Out …: With a headshot. Just when it looked like Cheese was going to step up and claim the streets, he was cut down in a back alley. Slim Charles finally grew a set after all this time and took Cheese out with some heavy-handed handgun revenge for Cheese setting up his own uncle, Prop Joe, to be murdered.
Life After: Tical always has his gloved hand in Hollywood. “Meet the Spartans” came out earlier this year, and “The Wackness” is still due in 2008. Johnny Blaze is also back in music mode. He’s recording his next solo LP, Crystal Meth, and his long-awaited second duet album with Redman simultaneously. The hip-hop legend’s rep said the Red and Meth album is dropping first, though.
Character: Namond Brice
Government Name: Julito McCullum
Went Out …: With hope. Former policeman Howard “Bunny” Colvin took in the foul-mouthed youngster in season four, and although we only saw him once in the final season, it was on a positive note. Brice turned himself from ‘hood misfit to scholastic standout. Although drug-dealing is in his bloodline (his father is Barksdale hitman Wee-Bay Brice), he didn’t have to fall victim to the dark side.
Life After: If all goes well, McCullum hopes that the name “Namond” will live on long after “The Wire” concludes. The Brooklyn native plans to enter the rap world, adopting his character’s name as his MC tag. McCullum said he wanted to show he could act, but also bring his unique style to rap. “There are more Will Smiths out there,” he joked.
Character: Duquan “Dookie” Weems
Government Name: Jermaine Crawford
Went Out …: As the new Bubbles. Probably the character with the saddest ending was poor Dookie, who never fit in — except with the dope fiends. In the final episode, we saw him lie in order to scam money from a teacher, and later, shoot up with a syringe.
Life After: Dookie will be trying to make a difference based on his character’s experience. Crawford plans to step behind the camera to write and produce a documentary exposing teenage homelessness. While filming on the streets of Baltimore, he said he learned that art reflects real life. “Who you’re playing is right beside you,” Crawford explained. “That’s somebody’s life that you’re playing.” Crawford also wants to continue acting, as well as start a music career; he’s won singing competitions throughout the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., area.
Character: Senator Clay Davis
Government Name: Isiah Whitlock Jr.
Went Out …: What happens to a lot of corrupt politicians who get caught? Nothing. They get a slap on the wrist and go on to pilfer more money from other avenues. We loved Clay’s snake-oil talk, though. He definitely had the series’ best catchphrase: “sh——————t!”
Life After: Whitlock has a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial out right now, but that’s not even a taste of what he has coming up. A handful of films are on tap, including “Under New Management” and “Choke.” There’s a TV pilot in development that Brett Ratner is behind, as well as the New York City Public Theater play “Unconditional.” There’s even a tip of the hat to Clay Davis in the production’s dialogue.
Character: Malik “Poot” Carr
Government Name: Tray Chaney
Went Out …: Kinda on the sucker side. He gave up the corner to work at Footlocker. That’s not the sucker part, though: He didn’t do anything to help out Dookie, who wanted a legitimate job.
Life After: Chaney is currently working on a multitude of projects, including his debut hip-hop album, set for release later this year. The uptempo lead single, “Dilemma,” featuring Jaz of Dru Hill is his true-life tale of being caught between affection for two ladies, one of whom was his fiancee. Next, the former dancer said he’s shooting a video for the track later this month and preparing for a role in an indie flick scheduled to begin shooting this fall. He’s simultaneously trying to put out his memoir, “The Truth You Can’t BeTRAY,” and turn the tale into a play. Looks like his hustle didn’t end at the corner.
Character: Felicia “Snoop” Pearson
Government Name: Felicia “Snoop” Pearson
Went Out …: By the hand of her own student. Snoop was trying to set up young Michael, but she taught him too good. He caught her slippin’, but even face-to-face with the barrel of a gun, she was a G all the way: “You was never one of us!”
Life After: Snoop is getting offers from Hollywood, but the one she’d love to land is a silver-screen option of her recently released autobiography, “Grace After Midnight.”
Character: Gus Haynes
Government Name: Clark Johnson
Went Out …: With his pride intact.
Life After: Johnson, who directed the last episode of the show, will also be manning the camera for his next project, “Chinese Wall,” a political thriller based on the Nigerian oil industry. Johnson is also set to direct the series finale of another critically acclaimed urban show, “The Shield.”
Character: Jimmy McNaulty
Government Name: Dominic West
Went Out …: Without a job, thanks to his nonexistent-serial-killer scheme. More important, the boozing cop didn’t go to jail.
Life After: West will continue to piss off the authorities in the near future, but this time, he’ll be on the wrong side of the law. West is set to co-star in the upcoming “Punisher: War Journal.” The movie — which hopes to reboot the Marvel Comic franchise — will feature West as the Punisher’s archenemy, Jigsaw. West is scheduled to star opposite fellow British actor, Ray Stevenson, who will play the title role.