LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 10:  Holt McCallany attends the LFF Connects Special Presentation: "Mindhunter" European Premiere during the 61st BFI London Film Festival on October 10, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/ Getty Images for BFI)
Movies - TV
The Wire's Most Famous Catchphrase Needed To Be Used Sparingly
Isiah Whitlock Jr. played Senator Clay Davis in the Baltimore-based crime series, “The Wire.” The character is known for taking bribes and for his profane exhaustion, summed up by a single word, stretched out like taffy for maximum effectiveness.
In an interview, Whitlock revealed that the inspiration for the catchphrase came from his uncle, who would use the curse word when there was no other way to express his annoyance. The actor first used the “sheeeee-it” in an audition for Spike Lee, and the director liked it so much that he had the actor incorporate it in “25th Hour” and also later in “Da 5 Bloods.”
Whitlock also made sure to not overuse it in “The Wire,” explaining, "Sometimes, even when they wrote it in, if I didn't feel like it was right at a certain moment, I wouldn't do it. It's a little bit more technical than that because I think if you just sort of throw the word around [...], people will sort of get tired of it, but if [...] certain moments called for that particular word and the way that I would say it, it can have an incredible amount of effect."