What Keeps Wendell Pierce Up At Night

Death, Sex & Money

By WNYC Studios

What Keeps Wendell Pierce Up At Night

Wednesday, 5 August

Before the pandemic hit, actor Wendell Pierce was jetsetting around the world, filming scenes for the Amazon series Jack Ryan and starring in a London production of Death of a Salesman. But in March, as the realities of the pandemic set in, he decided to head back to his hometown of New Orleans, where his 95-year-old father still lives in Wendell's childhood home. "I'm going to look on the bright side and say, this is an opportunity to spend this time with my dad," Wendell told me. "I was raised to believe that family is the greatest connection to your past and most likely to be there for you in the future."

Wendell worked hard to get his parents back into the home where they raised him and his brothers after it was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. "My goal was to get them home before they died," he said. "They were in their seventies, eighties, and I said, I'm going to get you home." Wendell achieved that goal, and his mother was able to spend the last few years of her life living there before her death in 2012.

Wendell told me he's been thinking about his mom a lot, as he's been pondering whether or not to have children. "We had conversations about this. She would always say, 'Oh, by the time you have kids, you're going to be too old!'" he told me. "I love my mother so much and I respect her opinion so much. And I trust her opinion so much that it's her voice that echoes in my head saying, 'Oh, you do not know that joy you're missing out on of having a child.'"

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