Tristan Wilds traveled the crack-addled streets of Baltimore only to end up on Rodeo Drive.
After watching Wilds gangbanging on HBO’s “The Wire,” “90210” creators Jeff Judah and Gabe Sachs knew he was the guy they wanted to navigate the cliques of West Beverly High School.
He also landed a feature role in Fox Searchlight’s “The Secret Life of Bees,” playing a young man in 1960s South Carolina who grows sweet on Dakota Fanning.
“‘The Wire’ did way more than I expected,” says Wilds on a day off from shooting. “After I did the fourth season, everyone kept coming up to me from all walks of life — from Wall Street people to people on the street.”
All that recognition is still new for Wilds, who moved to L.A. a few months ago from Staten Island, N.Y., for the “90210” gig. But the 19-year-old actor maintains a firm handle on his priorities.
“It’s not about fame and fortune,” he says. “What gets me going is doing great work and making sure my characters feel real.”