"Read Between The Lines: I Will Take Your Head Off Your Shoulders"
KD: How did you find out you were going to be on the fifth season of The Wire?
CA: I received a call from David's assistant -- a courtesy call, because she knew I wanted to come back. I know on the internet, I get questions on my website and on MySpace: "Where [is Sergei]? Are you in prison?" I didn't really know. They did show me in court. They filmed me in one of the last scenes [of Season 2]. They were going through, down the line in front of the judge, and they stopped on me. I was there but they never showed it.
KD: We missed Sergei in a suit?
CA: Sergei was in a suit, as I recall, because my neck was itching and I wanted to get out of it. I had an altercation in the parking lot of the courthouse that day, because the van was taking about four of us to the courthouse, and this guy cut us off and almost caused a head-on accident. We're just driving along and this car comes cutting across the parking lot and causes our van to swerve pretty violently. The guy parks, and the transpo guy says, "What's your problem?" and the guy goes off like it was his fault. I had a problem with that, because the driver was so nice. The guy was so in the wrong, and if I'm wrong I'm going to tell you I'm wrong and say I'm sorry. I said, "Between the lines, if you have a problem take it up with me...If there's a problem, I'm going to fix it."
KD: As Sergei?
CA: Yeah, I used my Russian accent to mess with him more. It was like character work for me. I get aggravated at people who aren't considerate of others. Life's short to fight. That really bothered me. It's one thing to jump in my face, and hopefully I don't give people a reason to do that, but to do it to a guy who's doing a job to the best of his abilities and is such a nice guy, that rubbed me the wrong way.
KD: Let's get back to Season 5. You get a call from the assistant...
CA: She said it was a courtesy call [to let me know to show up to work], and I started laughing, because I was elated. I was at my parents' house in Virginia. I went upstairs and said something to my dad, who was reading the paper. He's a retired cop, and so many people in law enforcement and government love The Wire, just eat it up, and years later still ask if I'm coming back. So I said to my dad, "Guess I'm going to go for a jog, gotta get in shape...cause I'm coming back to The Wire this season." He just looked at me, and I'll never forget that look. My parents have worked so hard and I cannot describe the blessing it is to call my parents and say I've been blessed with another job. I was so excited to walk up there and tell my dad that. I loved that show, and I loved working on it. Despite us not earning Emmys or so forth, it was such a great project to be a part of. I would love it if they said, "Just kidding, there's going to be a Season 6."