Actor Tristan Wilds is perhaps best recognized by TV audiences as Michael Lee on the HBO original series “The Wire” (2006-2008) and as the adopted son, Dixon Wilson, on the “Beverly Hills, 90210” spin off “90210” (2008-2009). He earned a NAMIC Vision nomination for “The Wire” and was nominated for a Teen Choice Award for “90210.” On the movie front, Wilds, who made his film debut in the Academy Award nominee “Half Nelson” (2006), took home two Black Reel nominations for his portrayal of Zach Taylor in “The Secret Life of Bees” (2008). Moviegoers should not miss his performances in the upcoming movies “Indelible” (2009) and “Red Tails” (2009).
Childhood and Family:
Tristan Paul Mack Wilds, who would later be famous as Tristan Wilds, was born on July 15, 1989, in Staten Island, New York. His mother is from the Dominican Republic and his father is African American. He has four sisters and brothers.
Nicknamed Macky T, Tristan was educated at Michael J. Petrides School in Staten Island, New York. He started acting at age 7. He recalled, “Since I was about...real young, like about four or five, I saw my older brother acting and I was always like, ‘You know what? I want to do that too. I want to be on TV, Ma.’ So, it came from there.”
Tristan is a fan of video games and boxing. He also loves writing poetry. He cites Stevie Wonder, Chris Brown, Trey Songz, Rihanna, Donny Hathaway, Al Green, and Al B among his favorite musician and “Ugly Betty,” “America's Best Dance Crew,” “Tom and Jerry,” and “Family Guy” as his favorite TV shows.
The Secret Life of Bees
Tristan Wilds made his television acting debut when he was cast as A.J. in the six part miniseries “Miracle's Boys” (2005), which was co-directed by Bill Duke and Spike Lee. He subsequently moved to the big screen with the prominent supporting role of Jamal in the critically acclaimed drama “Half Nelson” (2006), which premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. The film starred Ryan Gosling, Shareeka Epps and Anthony Mackie and was co-written and directed by Ryan Fleck.
Later that same year, Wilds landed his first series regular role on “The Wire,” which debuted on HBO on June 2, 2002. He played Michael Lee from 2006 to 2008 and was nominated for a 2009 NAMIC Vision for Best Performance - Drama for his effort. While on the series “The Wire,” Wilds also appeared in episodes of “Cold Case” (2007) and “Law & Order” (2008) and continued to train with The Roundabout Theatre Company. He later portrayed the role of Brice in a workshop of Stockholm Brooklyn for the Cherry Lane Theatre.
Wilds did not return to series TV as a regular until September 2008 when he began his role of Dixon Wilson on the teen drama “90210,” a spin-off from “Beverly Hills, 90210.” The role brought him a nomination for Choice TV: Breakout Star Male at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards. Talking about his character, he said, “Dixon Mills is coming from Kansas and moving to Beverly Hills, so he's brand new to everything here just like I'm brand new to everything. I feel the same way Dixon feels, sort of.”
Wilds made his sophomore feature film outing in the well received “The Secret Life of Bees” (2008), based on the novel of the same name by Sue Monk Kidd. As Zach Taylor, he picked up a Black Reel nomination in the category of Best Breakthrough Performance and an additional nomination for Best Ensemble, which he shared with costars Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah, Paul Bettany, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Sophie Okonedo, Nate Parker and Hilarie Burton.
Wilds will star as Adrian in the drama film “Indelible” (2009) for director Randall Dottin and writer Mikki Del Monico. In addition, he is set to work with Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Bryan Cranston, Lee Tergesen and Method Man in the adventure film “Red Tails” (2009) for director Anthony Hemingway and screenwriter John Ridley.
“I want to be an influence to everybody, not to just kids in America. I want to be an influence to everyone around the world whether it's my music or my acting, my skills, what I do, my roles. I want people to learn from what I do and be influenced by it in some way.” Tristan Wilds