Tristan Paul Mack Wilds (born July 15, 1989) is an American actor and recording artist. He is known for his roles as Michael Lee on the HBO original drama series The Wire and as Dixon Wilson on the CW teen drama series 90210.
Mack Wilds was born in Staten Island, New York City, to Monique Moncion and Paul Wilds. His father is African American, and his mother is of Irish and Dominican descent. He attended Michael J. Petrides School. He started acting at age seven, following in the foot steps of his older brother.
In 2005 Mack Wilds made his acting debut in The N Drama Mini-Series Miracle’s Boys. Mack Wilds has since guest appeared on television shows such as Cold Case and Law & Order. The following year Wilds made his film debut in a bit-role in the Independent Drama film Half Nelson alongside Academy Award Nominee Ryan Gosling. Mack Wilds has dominantly appeared in a number of music videos for Jay-Z, Lil Flip, Wale, Wynter Gordon and Alicia Keys. Most recently he made a cameo in the music video for How To Love by American Hip-Hop Rapper Lil Wayne. In 2008 Wilds appeared alongside Jessica Alba and Hayden Panettiere in a promotional-clip titled The Muzzler encouraging young people to vote.
In 2006 Wilds joined the HBO Drama television series The Wire in a major recurring role. Wilds portrayed Michael Lee, a troubled middle school student who is living in poverty and caring for his younger brother. The Wire cast mate Jermaine Crawford is his second cousin. Mack Wilds appeared over the course of 23-episodes. Shortly after “The Wire” ended Wilds attended an acting workshop at the Roundabout Theatre Company, in which he worked with Actress Phylicia Rashād and played the role of Brice in a stage production of Stockholm Brooklyn at the Cherry Lane Theatre. In 2007 Wilds was cast in the Fox Searchlight Pictures Drama film The Secret Life of Bees an adaptation of the novel of the same name. Production began in January 2008 in Lumberton, North Carolina with Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys and Dakota Fanning confirmed to star. Mack Wilds portrays Zach Taylor, the romantic interest to Fanning’s character. The film was screened in September 2008 at the 33rd Annual Toronto International Film Festival and was released in the United States the following month. The film received mixed reviews and grossed over $39 million worldwide.
In July 2008 Mack Wilds was cast in The CW Teen Drama television series 90210 a spin-off to Beverly Hills, 90210. Wilds portrays Dixon Wilson a teenage boy who is adopted and moves with his family to Beverly Hills. The series premiered in September that same year to 4.65 million viewers and mixed reviews from critics. The series ended on May 13, 2013, after five seasons.
In March 2009 Wilds was confirmed to star in the George Lucas War film Red Tails which follows the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American United States Army Air Force (USAAF) servicemen during World War II. Ne-Yo, Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding, Jr. were announced to star also. Production began that same month on a $58 million budget. Eventually the film was released after numerous push-backs in January 2012.
In July 2011, it was reported that Wilds would star in the independent drama film Indelible. The film was scheduled to begin shooting in Schenectady, New York in October that same year, but plans never materialized. In April 2009, a trailer was filmed to promote the yet-to-be filmed film.
In 2010, Wilds signed a recording contract with independent record label Ten2one. Two tracks have leaked, the Rico Love-penned track “Fall 4 Her” and “Runaround”. Both songs were produced by Dre & Vidal. Another track titled “2 Girls” was featured in the fourth season of 90210 and “Kim”. In October 2011 Wilds released an Extended play titled Remember Remember. In summer 2013, Tristan revisited the music scene and released the hit single “Own It”. His debut album, New York: A Love Story was released on September 30, 2013. Wilds received his first Grammy Award nomination for Best Urban Contemporary Album for New York: A Love Story at the 56th Grammy Awards in 2014, but lost out to Rihanna’s Unapologetic