"Read Between The Lines: I Will Take Your Head Off Your Shoulders"
CA: We all got along so well. That's not a canned answer. It's the truth. We didn't keep ourselves apart at all. There were times when an actor or actress would have to walk away if they're doing an intense scene, just to get riled up. When I was beating the engineer, if you couldn't find me at Craft Services, I was off somewhere getting ready, though I don't need a lot to get into a fight scene.
KD: But you seem like such a nice, mild-mannered guy.
CA: I appreciate that, thank you. You don't want to seem angry. We got along well, we spend a lot of time joking around in our down time, and just getting to know each other and watching everyone do their own thing. I spent a lot of time watching the other actors. There are so many great actors on The Wire. Like I said, I didn't have any acting classes, so that's how I learned -- by watching these great actors.
KD: What was your first day on set like?
CA: My first day on the set was hard. It's the biggest thing I'd done and only thing I've done, really, that ever counted for anything. Paul Ben-Victor, the actor who played Vondas, was in the first scene -- the first scene I'd ever done in my entire life, with such a great cast, anyway, and such a good budget. [Paul] was sitting across from me and I was nervous. I was so nervous. I was thinking, "This is the beginning of my acting career, please don't screw it up." I'd spent years auditioning for something like this, and all the all the pressure was there. I recognized [Ben-Victor] but didn't talk to him, because I was sure he knew I was nervous. My hands were on the table and I was thinking how I was going to deliver my lines. He just put his hand on my hand and said [in a Greek accent], "Son, talk." It was so simple, and it unleashed a flurry of questions before we started, and he gave me good advice.
Sergei would have had more lines in the beginning, but I wanted to nail my lines and get [them] right. David said I could have had extra stuff if I was less tense. But I became more relaxed as we went on, and it's because the set was so relaxed.
KD: What did you do to relax when you weren't filming? You were in some pretty bad neighborhoods.
CA: Oh, we roamed the corners, worked on our characters. Just kidding. They actually told us that it's not a great idea to go wandering around. You'll be well received for the most part, but there were some times with Method Man when we were filming or doing scenes together, and I remember someone yelling, "We don't care who you are. Get out of here. You don't belong here." It was so sad. There are so many poor spots in Baltimore. It's got some really great spots and some not-so-great spots. There are lots of areas where there isn't a great amount of money or jobs, and it's not just gangs or drug dealers causing problems. There are a lot of hardworking people and single-parent homes [where people] are trying to make it. They pay the price for the ignorant people dealing drugs and causing problems.