Sunday, Jan. 13, 2008 | 8:35 p.m.
- Michael Kostroff on supporting Obama
- Michael Kostroff on how he got involved with Obama's campaign
- Michael Kostroff on Obama's love of The Wire
Awaiting an interview with Sen. Barack Obama at the Doolittle Community Center, I looked up from my laptop and saw Maurice Levy.
His real name is Michael Kostroff, but he plays Levy on HBO's critically acclaimed crime drama "The Wire". His character is this absolutely amoral specimen of awfulness drug lawyer, but in real life he's really a nice guy. The transformation is incredible. "The Wire" has been described in other places as a Dostoyevsky novel on television--sprawling, psychological, gripping.
A Sun photographer and I were sort of marveling at how total the transformation is, and he told us it's quite simple: Funny people all have a dark side. (He's actually a comedic actor, including musicals like "The Producers.") Kostroff is in town volunteering for Obama, doing the scut work that needs doing. Saturday he did data entry, he said. Today he was driving volunteers. This morning he got to meet Obama, who told him "The Wire" is his favorite show.
I asked Obama about this in an interview that will run in tomorrow's Sun. (Preemptive defense of question about pop culture: "The Wire" is a serious program that raises questions about broken civic institutions and the powerful people who have an interest in keeping them broken, which makes it quite relevant to the narrative of this campaign.)