Chad L. Coleman, known for his role as Dennis 'Cutty' Wise on HBO's The Wire, reflects on his time on the show and shares some behind-the-scenes stories. In an interview, Chad emphasizes how Cutty's character represents change and redemption. He mentions Calvin Ford, the inspiration behind Cutty's character, who went from a murderer to a successful boxing manager. Chad admires how Cutty, an African American male who used to be muscle for the Barksdale crew, became a symbol of positivity and one of the show's points of light.
Before joining The Wire, Chad had personal relationships with several cast members. He reveals that he was roommates with Wood Harris, who played Avon Barksdale, during their time in New York. He also mentions his friendship with the late Michael K. Williams, who he would often cross paths with at auditions.
Chad recalls an encounter with Idris Elba, who predicted Chad's future role on The Wire after watching him perform in a reading. Despite doubting his chances of being cast, Chad proved Idris right when he eventually joined the show.
To fully embrace his character, Chad had to learn how to box and channel Cutty's love for the sport. He trained with a boxing coach named Jacinto Riddick, and the physical training helped him tap into Cutty's mindset.
Chad also discusses Cutty's famous stare, explaining that it came naturally to him. In the script, it was referred to as "eye-f***", and Chad understood its power to freeze someone with just a look.
Though Chad loved his time on The Wire, he believes that Cutty's character wasn't appreciated as much as it should have been. He feels that people were more drawn to the "bad guys" on the show, but encourages viewers to revisit Cutty and appreciate the complexities of his character.