Phila. Mayor hosts screening for "The Wire"

March 11, 2008 12:10:00 PM PDT
Ten actors from the HBO series "The Wire" watched the series finale with one of its biggest fans - Mayor Michael Nutter.

The mayor hosted a screening of the final episode at City Hall on Sunday that was attended by about 100 people. The crime drama chronicles life in Baltimore, where politicians, police and residents struggle to address poverty and violence.

The story is much the same in Philadelphia, 90 miles to the north. Nutter praised the series for showing big-city problems realistically.

"I've learned a great deal," Nutter said. "It gives a lot of insight into a lot of different people."

Wendell Pierce, who plays Detective William "Bunk" Moreland, said he thought the show made viewers think about people they would not interact with in their ordinary lives.

"You'll never be able to cross a corner and see corner boys and see them just as thugs," Pierce said. "There was humanity in them. You'll never be able to look at the kids the same way."

The most popular actor with the City Hall crowd was Michael K. Williams, who played Omar Little, an armed robber who is careful to stick up only drug dealers and other criminals because they will not complain to police.

"Omar! Omar!" some of the fans shouted at Williams, who showed up for the screening wearing a Boy Scout shirt.

"I've been traveling a lot. This is what I had clean," Williams explained.