The actor who played this unforgettable role on 'The Wire' was almost fired on his very first day

The Wire Nick 2 finalHBOPablo Schreiber as Nick Sobotka on season 2 of ‘The Wire.’

Before Pablo Schreiber took on the role of “Pornstache” on Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black,” he played a prominent part in the world of “The Wire.”

For the HBO show’s second season, which aired in 2003 and focused on international smuggling in a Baltimore port, Schreiber landed the role of Nick Sobotka, who has knowledge of the shady business going on at the docks and who, by the end of the season, snitches about the operation.

It was Schreiber’s second professional acting gig and led to a string of strong supporting roles on TV and movies.

But none of that would have happened if the producers on “The Wire” had been less forgiving about his first-day error.

“On my first day, I overslept and I woke up an hour after my call time,” Schreiber recently told Business Insider. “My alarm didn’t go off and I woke up completely disoriented and on the way to set I ended up getting stopped by a cop for speeding. So I showed up two hours late for my first day. I was sure my career was over.”

Luckily, he was given another chance, though he admits looking back on it now that “you could tell they were considering bringing on someone else.”

Needless to say, that was Schreiber’s last day being late to set. But some were slow to give Schreiber a pass, like show creator David Simon.

“I don’t think he even looked at me for at least a month,” the actor said. “I was definitely persona non grata on that set for a long time, but I think I worked my way back.”

That’s evident enough: As Nick Sobotka, Schreiber gets one of the most emotional and powerful moments of the entire series in the season-two ending. And for the final season, the
character returns in a cameo as we see him heckling the Baltimore mayor at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Now we’ll never forget his Nick Sobotka.

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