AARP Eye Center
Long revered for his brilliant work in The Wire, Treme, Selma and Suits, Wendell Pierce has two hot shows this winter. He’s getting rave reviews as Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman on Broadway, and he plays the hero’s bestie, James Greer, in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, back on Amazon’s Prime Video Dec. 21 after a three-year hiatus. Pierce told AARP about his sweet life at age 59.
In Season 3 of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (written before the Ukraine invasion), Ryan races to stop a rogue faction in Russia from restoring the Soviet empire and starting World War III, with Greer as his ally at the CIA back home. What’s the best part of doing the show?
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I love the espionage, and I love to travel. We did nine countries this season, [including] Prague, the Czech Republic; Vienna, Austria; Budapest, Hungary; Slovakia; Athens, Greece; and Washington, D.C. It was really wonderful to see all the different countries.
The Wire, in which you memorably played Detective Bunk Moreland, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Many call it TV’s greatest series — and right up there with Dickens’ novels, an epic dramatic portrait of every aspect of Baltimore society. How does that make you feel?
It’s humbling. I wish that for every artist: You do work that will become classic. Classic is something that will transcend time or place and different people and culture. It is something that will have an impact on people.