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Actor Wendell Pierce is best known for his work as Detective Bunk Moreland on “The Wire” but after “Four” that could change. The versatile actor plays a married man celebrating the Fourth of July holiday by trying to hook up with a teenage boy.

The film’s subject matter has already drawn controversy, including some criticism of Pierce for even playing such a role. But the actor says that mining the mysteries of human behavior is why he does what he does.

‘I took the role because of the challenge of doing something like that,” Pierce told “The Tom Joyner Morning Show.” “Why does someone do something like that? Who are the people that we expect to be a pedophile? He’s very engaging and charming and not someone you’d expect.”

“Four” opens at the AMC theaters in 10 cities on Friday. Pierce says that he was drawn to the film after seeing the play, which left a deep impression on him.

“On the same night, you see his daughter out on a date and then you investigate these four people and why are they together. Ultimately, you see what brings about dysfunction and what creates negativity in people’s lives and what is destroying other people’s lives. Acting is closer to psychology than what most people think. It really is a psychological study of these four people on one particular night.”

Pierce will turn to much lighter fare in his role on “The Michael J. Fox Show” premiering on NBC on September 26. He also wraps up his role on the HBO series “Treme” and is still plays a recurring role on the AMC drama “Suits.” A New Orleans native, Pierce is also active in the continuing rebuilding of the city, recently opening a supermarket in an underserved neighborhood.


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