On HBO's The Wire, actor Michael K. Williams plays Omar Little, a stick-up guy who robs only drug dealers. Omar has a scar running down his face. That's not a prosthetic scar; it's real. Williams tells Terry Gross the story behind his scar — and lots of other stories about himself and Omar.
Fresh Air's TV critic previews the new series Breaking Bad, about a cancer-stricken chemistry teacher who decides that cooking crystal meth is the best way to support his family after he's gone. The show premieres on the AMC cable channel on Jan. 20.
Moises Naim, editor and publisher of Foreign Policy magazine. His new book is Illicit: How Smugglers, Traffickers and Copycats Are Hijacking the Global Economy. In it, Naim describes an international black market in which illegal arms, drugs and knockoff goods trade across the globe.
Filmmakers Josh Marston and Orlando Tobon discuss Maria Full of Grace, their film about a Colombian girl who swallows pellets of narcotics and travels on a plane to New York. In real life, Tobon runs a travel agency that arranges transport back to Colombia for dead smugglers, who have died when the pellets burst.
He'll address the strict drug regulations that put Elaine Bartlett, the subject of the book, Life on the Outside, in jail. The regulations are known as the Rockefeller Drug Laws. Clyne is the son of Albany County judge John Clyne, who handed Bartlett a sentence of 20 years to life in state prison.
Novelist David Benioff is the author of 25th Hour, about a drug dealer who has one day left on the outside before beginning his seven-year prison sentence. It's the basis of the Spike Lee film of the same name, starring Edward Norton.
Colombian senator and presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt. In a country controlled by drug cartels and corrupt government officials, she has spoken out against corruption. Her efforts have earned her and her family death threats. She travels with as many as a dozen body guards, and sent her children away. Betancourt grew up in Paris, the daughter of Colombia ambassador to Unesco. Her mother was a political activist. Betancourt book about her fight against corruption was a bestseller in France where it was first published.