Andre Royo is an American actor, producer, and writer. He is best known for his role as Reginald "Bubbles" Cousins on the HBO crime drama series The Wire, and his appearances on Fringe, Party Down, How to Make It in America, and the 2013 film The Spectacular Now.
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Hello Reddit, I'm Andre Royo -- Currently playing "Thirsty" on EMPIRE, aka Bubbles on THE WIRE, and the star of the new film and Indie Spirit nominee HUNTER GATHERER. Ask me anything!
Watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tPB3sXaUcQ
Download HUNTER GATHERER on iTunes: http://radi.al/HunterGatherer
Your performance as Bubbles is one of my favorite aspects of The Wire. I rooted for that character through all his highs and lows and I'm so glad he was one of the few characters to receive a truly happy ending.
With that being said, what is you favorite episode and/or season of The Wire and why?
Hard to say or call it but 1st season was the hardest most challenging and changed my life as an actor and person...so its my favorite
Can you tell the story of when someone thought you were an actual fiend because you played Bubbles so well?
most people on set and off set thought I was a fiend.. even people at HBO parties thought I was a real dope fiend that David Simion gave a job to.. It meant I was doing a good job but also hurt me in getting future jobs for awhile after the Wire was over!!
Your work on The Wire was the most moving piece of an amazingly good series. Thanks for that.
Can a young squire get a red hat?
only if I see you on them corners!haha
only if I see you on dem corners
Hows your day been my dude?
all good morning coffee and sun in LA
Hi Andre! Do I really have to wash my hands for a thousand seconds?
if you wanna work at Bobs Burgers!
I heard that when you were filming The Wire, a real addict offered you his heroin because he thought you needed it more than he did. Is this story true?
Real True and validated my process!
does it ever annoy you to be recognized for the Wire? like, "yeah yeah, I know I know the wire was great blah blah, but I am more than that"? I would think the pc answer would be that you appreciate it, but deep down it has to get annoying.
So far it feels great because back in the day when we first were on air we got overlooked and never nominated .. so its like payback street love that never gets old to me............................yet!haha
well that's great. thanks for answering. one of the most emotional scenes I have ever seen on television is bubbles getting to go through the door to the kitchen. that shit was earned.
Thank U ... when we shot that I wasnt sure if that would be enough for the Fans ... but it was spot on anything else would have been to Disney!!! David Simon is a genius
Bubbles showed a lot more compassion and care than a lot of characters on that show now that I think about it. Taking Sherrod in alone was a pretty selfless act. So glad Bubs got a happy ending.
Come on Bubs. I love the legend as much as anyone but if The Wire taught us anything, no addict is offering up his fix to someone out of sympathy.
even in the world of addicts lies compassion and it was dem testers so they were free!
Hey sir, we met at the LA screening of HUNTER GATHERER (I'm that actor friend of Drew and Isaiah), and I just wanted to thank you for the encouragement and words of wisdom you shared.
Here's my question: as an unconventional casting choice in the Hollywood machine (compared to the favored tall, white, and muscle-bound), how did you first get noticed by powers-that-be when you were starting out?
I worked as a clip holding asshole in front of a NYC club... was cracking wise remarks and being a wise guy with charm.. met John Singleton and let him and his partner in an got an audition for his movie Shaft
What was the most challenging part about the role of bubbles on the wire?
Trusting myself that I could do a good job and not become a Characture was my worst fear!
What is your favorite movie of all time?
Hey Andre!! Huge fan of The Wire. I just finished all 5 seasons a few weeks ago.
Your acting in The Wire was spectacular -- without doubt my favorite character. How did you get into the mind set of Bubbles? When Sherrod passed, your emotions seemed extremely realistic. How do you dig deep to find that emotion to portray it so well?
Thanks so much!!!!
Preperation and trust!! just stayed in the moment and thought of my real life lostr and hard times..It was a long long and emotional ride that will forever be a part of me. Wire for life!
You have done a few Law and Orders, that must be bread and butter to a lot of NYC actors. Did such a long running institution of a show like those have a different feeling than others? A L&O credit must be like a badge of honor for a NY actor?
EVERY NYC actor has done LAw & Order at some point.. I did all three a couple of times.. really kept the lights on in my apt back then!!
Hey, I met you at a Nets game years ago. You were super nice in person, so thanks for that.
My question is, what did you do to prepare for your role as Bubbles?
spoke to alot alto of addicts and denied myself things I like to do for abput 2 to 3 months
I imagine there is always music playing on the set of Empire, whats your favorite song that has come from the show?
I have Headphones on all the time cause im a Hall & oats type guy or at least Thirsty is.hahah
Outside of your famous "Street Oscar" anecdote, what has been your favourite fan interaction?
I get alot of Hugs but at one function I surprised a couple who were going to get married and they wanted Bubs to pop the question to the
Thanks for the reply! Bubbles was my favourite character on the show by the way!
"OBLIGED!" Keep coming Back!!
Hey Andre, thanks for doing this AMA. Like most people here, I'm a huge fan of the Wire and your performance in it. Aside from yourself, which actor do you think did the best job at portraying their character? I'm partial to Jaime Hector's Marlo Stanfield. Are you still in contact with anyone from the show or David Simon? Would you change your portrayal of Bubs in any way? Thx again!
I think everyone was great and we all kept each other in check ..held each other accountable in being true to the craft and the storytelling! Omar aka Michael K. Williams was my favorite as far as an artist taking risk! I wouldn't change a thing besides i wouldnt know how or where to begin... unless the whole team got together. They all just by being there played a part in the construction of Bubs! social media makes it easy for all of us to stay connected
What did you deny yourself?
TV, alcohol, sugar, and sex!!! man o man I was fiending!!!!haha
I'm sure you got along excellent with everybody on the cast, but was there one person who maybe was just a little more fun than the others to work with in a scene?
Are there any little behind the scene's anecdotes you can tell us from the set?
Dom West aka Mcnulty was a dude that I spoke about acting and Fatherhood with and we then had a Bromance trip to Amsterdam! nuf said!haha
Resident of Baltimore and DEVOTEE of The Wire, just want to first thank you for your performance, there is no better piece of art than The Wire and your performance is paramount. Every time I watch Bubs last NA meeting I get the chills and ultimately cry. I just wanted to ask you if you've spent anytime in the city since the filming, and how you feel about the continued divide that can be seen in Baltimore and the nation as a whole? I see in Baltimore that things have gotten better, there is development and it seems like quality of life is increasing but it is in parallel to continued failure in the school system and division among the population as evidenced by the riots that took place last year.
I've been back and done some work wth Sonja aka Kima on helping and speaking about community and activism.. Also filming now in Chicage where violence is at a high! overall I'm pround of these communities because no matter what they continue to try and hope and fight to get better ..and not just give up...which was what I felt when I first Got to Baltimore... Bmore for LIFE!!
What actor do you wish you could've had a scene with in Hand Of God and why was it Johnny Ferro?
man looked like Jesus himself..wasa hoping he bless me with a miricle or 3rd season!!
Know any good jokes?
not unbless its in a script.. Im more of a reaction type funny dude..i gotta be in the moment and just improvise!
Did your roll as Bubbles have any effect on your empathy towards people who struggle w addiction?
Indeed and im so grateful for that . growing up in the Bronx I felt id become alittle cold!
How has your life changed since The Wire? I imagine that a LOT of people that see you on the street call you Bubbles now.
I became a better artist and all arounfd person with more compasion after my Wire experience
Hi Andre! You are just fantastic and I love your work.
What's a memorable (good or bad) encounter you have had with a fan?
surprisingly its been all love and hugs for Bubs... really means alot to me!
You're awesome; your character on the wire was incredible. What was your #1 favorite scene in The Wire, whether you were in it or otherwise? (And don't say when Stringer Bell got shot! That character left too early!)
Probably when Omar got killed by Kernard..because it was the realest street story of life and death..how kids can be raised without regard for life and how anybody gets got...when they dont see it coming!!
What is your favorite food?
A slice and a root beer
Want to buy me a pizza?
What's been your most memorable moments on the wire?
Id buy you a slice if you get the root beer..
season 3 walking down the Baltimore streets pushing a wagon with no pants on! Breezy!
Loved your interview on Marc Maron a couple weeks ago! What was your favorite album of 2016?
haha Drake Views might not be my favorite but it got the most play in the Ride!!
What's your favorite ride in Disney?
Bumper cars !
Did your time on the Wire change your perspective of how you view inner city/urban issues?
Made me more aware and compassionate to my fellow human beings
Worst child related experience?
Jumped of the back porch running around and smashed my face!!!
What's the question that we should be asking to get the most interesting response from you?
.... A question in person!haha
Mr Royo, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, how visually pleasing is the Ryugyong General Ophthalmic Hospital shown here?
10 love those pink cushions
Any memories of working with Bokeem Woodbine and Fab 5 Freddy?
yup we all use to be around or in the same NYC clubs speaking about the daily grind , hustle and Hip Hop!!
Do you still keep in touch with Leo Fitzpatrick? You guys made a great team on The Wire. Would you be open to the possibility of teaming up with him again in a Bubbles & Johnny sitcom? I think it could be the next Perfect Strangers.
He was a cool cool Dude and anytime anyplace I'm down... get to writing!!!!
What is the very best cheese?
What is the funniest thing you have seen happen on set?
wow nbeen a long time but everyday had something crazy happening..but funny? not when I was on set just shenanigans
Did you keep your Street Oscar?
No long gone.. couldnt or wouldn't get on the plane with it!haha
Do you have a really memorable experience (positive or negative) from filming The Wire? If so, what?
The whole danm thing and 5 seasons was positive and made me a better person and artist
Have you had any strange interactions in real life because of characters you play?
Yeah I just feel people come to me to thank me for my Bubbles performance but also to say Hey I Give a Fuck more now about my fellow person!! AWESOME!!
On a personal level, what are a few of your favorite films?
the Hustler, Rocky, Kramer vs. Kramer , Moonlight! Let the right one in,
What's the most important thing to consider when preparing to play a character? Where do you start?
Great body of work, sir. Enjoyed everything I've seen. Keep going.
No judegment on the character and believe in yourself!
One of the things I loved the most about the Wire was the way all key characters evolved over the seasons to show that they all had strengths and weaknesses. Not often one sees true 3D characters that way in movies and TV.
When you took the role of Bubbles, were you told the line the character would develop? I always imagine that to an actor it must be more fun to play complex characters like that. Is it?
I was told that "we don't know what is going to happen to Bubs in the long run !" but thats like life so I took it one day at a time and prayed to 'Keep coming Back!"
Let me guess. Sherrod took it.
hahah NO.. Great kid i did what Bubs decided to do in the end "Kick Rocks!"
La La Land or Moonlight?
Moonlight proud of the director and those who went and saw it..
I believe stories like the Wire helpped people understand their are layers to characters portrayed on the screen
Thank you, your work as Bubbles took the show to the next level.
How proud are you of being told you look like you need a hit on the streets of Baltimore?
Oscar worthy some day I hope!