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Amy Ryan on the ‘Gone Baby Gone’–‘Wire’ Connection

Amy Ryan at last night's premiere.Photo: Getty Images

At last night's premiere of Gone Baby Gone, we would've wanted to talk to Amy Ryan even if she hadn't been collecting Oscar buzz for her performance as a troubled mother in Ben Affleck's film. Why? Because Ryan is one of several participants in Gone Baby Gone who also works on The Wire. (Michael K. Williams, who plays Omar, also appears in the movie, and Dennis Lehane, a writer for the HBO show, wrote the novel on which Gone is based.) When David Simon sneaked away from us, we tracked down Ryan and asked her why there was so much overlap between fictional Baltimore and fictional Boston. "I think it's just coincidence," she said. "I don't even think Ben was familiar with the show."

When we asked if her time on The Wire made it easier for her to play a drug addict in Gone Baby Gone, she pointed out that her character on The Wire, Beadie Russell, is "on the other end of the scene. I'm driving around the police officers, looking at container ships. Beadie has a really boring job. To become a drug addict onscreen, you just have to have good hair and makeup."

What does the fifth season of The Wire have in store for Beadie? "I'm still in bed with McNulty," she said with a smile. "It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it." —Jada Yuan