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David Makes Man's Kwame Patterson shares Oprah's reaction to his performance

On CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast, The Wire actor discusses playing the title role in season 2 of the Oprah Winfrey Network series David Makes Man.

David Makes Man Kwame Patterson

Kwame Patterson plays the title role in the second season of the Oprah Winfrey Network series David Makes Man.

Dimitry Loiseau
This story is part of I'm So Obsessed (subscribe here), our podcast featuring interviews with actors, artists, celebrities and creative types about their work, career and current obsessions.

At the age of 28, Kwame Patteron joined the HBO series The Wire, widely considered one of the greatest TV shows of all time by fans and critics, to play Monk. The character, who wsa part of Marlo's crew, changed Patterson's life and career forever. He's been in films like The Outpost and Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar and in shows like The Oath, Ray Donovan, Snowfall and Lethal Weapon.

Patterson can now be seen as the title character in season 2 of the Peabody Award-winning series David Makes Man on the Oprah Winfrey Network. The semi-autobiographical show was created by Academy Award-winning writer Tarell Alvin McCraney; the first season followed David as a child (played by Akili McDowell). The second season picks up with Patterson playing the adult David.

On CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast, Patterson explained how adult David has yet to deal with trauma the character experienced as a kid -- leading to many emotional scenes that sometimes took their toll on the actor.

"I had to tap into places that I didn't necessarily want to go, but I had to go there. And then once you go there, sometimes trying to pull yourself back out of that space is not as easy as you think it is. There were times on set where we would do a scene and after the scene was over, I couldn't stop crying," said Patterson. "Everyone there was like 'Take your time.' No one was rushing me. It was a very nurturing set."

Oprah Winfrey and Michael B. Jordan are two of the show's producers -- and while Jordan and Patterson's time on The Wire didn't overlap, they got to know each other over the years through cast reunions. And when it comes to Winfrey, Patterson clearly remembers a moment over a Zoom video call where she recognized him.

"We did a screening the other night, it's prerecorded, but she gave me a shout-out and I was smiling from ear-to-ear. The only other time I got to meet her, because of COVID-19, was on Zoom," said Patterson. "I don't know if anybody was watching me, but I was definitely smiling."

The season 2 finale of David Makes Man airs on Tuesday. In my interview with Patterson, we discuss the brilliance of McCraney's writing, how Kristen Wiig convinced him to be in Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar -- and why it's OK that fans still call him Monk.

"I'm still Monk to 90% of people. When I was on Snowfall this season, there were people putting out stuff on Instagram like, 'I can't believe Monk left Franklin like that.' They don't care that a character's name is different," said Patterson with a big smile. "There's probably somebody right now saying, 'Yo, I just saw Monk on David Makes Man.' And I love it."

You can subscribe to I'm So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode, Connie Guglielmo and I catch up with an artist, actor or creator to learn about their work, career and current obsessions.