Last year, Tristan “Mack” Wilds and girlfriend Christina Hammond-Wilds exclusively announced to ESSENCE the birth of their baby girl Tristyn Naomi. Fast forward a year and a half later, the Wilds are happy, healthy and thriving as they adjust to life as first-time parents with their beautiful new addition to their growing family.
Mack and Christina met during their early teens while he was on the set of The Wire, he told OWN. Christina describes their meeting as “her favorite love story” and admits that though they’ve been on and off since their adolescent years, they always find their way back into one another’s lives and hearts. “We knew if we were dealing with anybody else, if we would have gotten married to anybody else or any type of situation like that, we would’ve been settling,” Mack said confidently to the camera.
Speed up to their mid-late twenties, the two are married, happily in love, and have a daughter named after the Secret Life of Bees actor that they plan to give the world to. “I go to Christina for my ideas, and I go to Tristyn for my inspiration so they’re literally everything,” Mack continued.
“Mack is an amazing father. I can’t even describe it,” Christina told OWN with a smile across her face. As the mother of baby Tristyn and wife to the The Wire actor, she is able to vouch for the connection between her husband and child first-hand. The Tristyn’s Book Club founder continued, “Just seeing how he deals with her and how he interacts with her, it warms my heart.”
Earlier in the video, Mack details the lessons that he wants to teach his daughter, who is technically his junior. “I want to teach my daughter, one, to enjoy who she is,” the former 90210 star said as the video panned to an image of baby Tristyn smiling. “To enjoy her femininity, her Blackness but also understand that you are entitled to everything that the world has to offer just like anybody else. No matter gender, color, or anything.”
As Christina continued to praise her husband for his hard work and ability to keep their daughter in the forefront of his mind, Mack admitted to OWN that he was in a “really dark place” mentally earlier in the year. “Honestly, I had been there for a while. I was just letting life take me wherever she may,” he said. From the stress of the entertainment business to the embedded childhood trauma from growing up in disenfranchised neighborhoods, Mack sourced a lot of areas throughout his life as triggers and stressors.
After watching a Dave Chappelle special where the comedian talked about the suicide of Anthony Bourdain, Mack began to pray away his dark thoughts and ask God for “a light” as a sign that he’s on this Earth for a reason. “I kind of just started to think people would probably be better off without me being here,” Mack said. “Tristyn was a very big part of the motivation to get pulled out of that dark place. That’s the push I needed to get towards the light.”
For the full interview, check out the video below on OWN’s official YouTube channel for OWN Spotlight!