Movies - TV
Living a Double Life as Bubbles Wasn't Easy For The Wire's Andre Royo
HBO's "The Wire" is beloved not only for its stellar writing but for its phenomenal use of its talented cast who, at the time, was mostly comprised of lesser-known actors. One of the series' most compelling examples of this was Reginald "Bubbles" Cousins who was convincingly portrayed by Andre Royo.
Bubbles was a recovering addict who quickly revealed himself to be a resourceful and empathetic character with far more complexity than former TV caricatures would previously allow. While he and much of the cast were hailed as "local heroes" whenever they went off to Baltimore clubs, his on-set experience was, at times, a draining one.
In an interview for the book "Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution," Royo explained that while the other cast members had groupies waiting for them outside of their trailers, he had junkies. He stated, “They fell in love with Bubbles. I'd go into my trailer and clean my shit off and come out and they'd look at me like, 'You're not one of us. F*** you.'”
He continued, “That's a head trip, man. That shit eats at you. [By the third season,] I was drinking. I was depressed.'" The intimate connections between cast and character are, if nothing else, a testament to the top-down creative compact with the narrative and the people that fuel it, part of the show's lasting power.