At only 26, actor Tristan “Mack” Wilds is already on his way to becoming a Renaissance man. He’s had starring roles on The Wire and 90210, played the leading man in Adele’s highly anticipated video for comeback single “Hello” and even got a Grammy nomination in 2014 for his debut LP New York: A Love Story. Wilds goes back to his roots for the upcoming VH1 hip-hop film The Breaks and in “Off the Clock” for Rolling Stone.
For “Off the Clock,” Wilds brought Rolling Stone to the New York neighborhood where he grew up, Park Hill, and the barbershop where he spent his time. “I learned how to cut hair when I was about 11,” Wilds notes before pointing to a photograph of him giving his first haircut.
In The Breaks, Wilds plays an aspiring producer who is part of a group of friends growing up in Nineties New York City at the time when hip-hop is blowing up the culture. The Wu-Tang fan feels connected to the series both by the show’s setting and his father’s own experience of being a hip-hop fan during the era.
“We actually get a chance to transport the viewer back to New York City in the Nineties,” Wilds says before explaining that the passion of the film’s central characters helps push the genre from the underground to the mainstream. “I saw my dad doing it and of course Wu-Tang doing it. It gave me an opportunity to say ‘Yo, I want to do that too.'”