The Wire
The Chris Ashworth Interview

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"Read Between The Lines: I Will Take Your Head Off Your Shoulders"
KD: So you started training as a means of self-defense? CA: I knew I needed to learn how to take care of myself. I was working on a project in 1998, and I got jumped again -- but the guys that jumped me also jumped my training partner, a champion Muay Thai figurer. We were trying to walk away, and they tried to run us over in a parking lot. They stopped the car and proceeded to keep on pushing it. We tried to walk away, but sometimes you can't walk away, especially where there's a wall behind you back. KD: I take it you won that fight. CA: I started to laugh because I couldn't believe it was happening again...I thought of an internship I did with the police in Danville, Virginia. I asked one of the guys, "How do you deal with the public when people have attitudes toward you, but don't realize all the problems that the police have to deal with?" He said, "I'm as nice as I can be, but mean as I have to be." So I told [one of the men trying to fight] that we don't have any problem with them and they don't need to get combative. His exact phase was, "What the fuck are you going to do, pretty-boy?" I said, "It's funny you should ask." I was able to put him in a hold and subdue him without really hurting him. While [forcing him to submit], I was asking him, "Why are you doing this? Why did you feel that you have to come up and injure my friends?" I didn't have to hurt him, but I took control of the situation and that felt good. KD: On The Wire, as you said, everything is so separate, and there are so many stories and scenes that don't intersect. Was it the same way off the set? 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.

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The Wire




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