…have a Polaroid picture of Williams, and Tupac himself selected Williams for the role of his little brother.
“I think he saw my pain, my struggle, my heart,” Williams says. “I was starstruck. I was like, ‘Wow, this is Tupac Shakur.'”
After filming Bullet, Williams booked roles on Law and Order and The Sopranos. After those short roles, Williams thought the phone would be ringing, but that never happened. Williams saw his acting career slipping away.
“I was down in the dumps. I got really depressed,” he says. “Like, really depressed.”
Then, months later, Williams received an unexpected fax outlining a character in a new show called The Wire.
It was the part for Omar Little.
“I got to grow with an amazing group of people that I consider my Wire family,” Williams says. “That character changed my life. And that was my big break. I had a low self esteem growing up. You know I was just a corny kid growing up in the projects. And when I became Omar, it thrust me into the spotlight and forced me to grow up.”
This year’s BET Awards were brought to an emotional climax on Sunday night as the show memorialized rapper DMX, who died in April of this year. While a musical tribute was a given, what wasn’t as expected was a full-bodied theatrical performance from Michael K. Williams channeling the late rapper himself. In a career-spanning performance that also featured Busta Rhymes, Method Man, Swizz Beatz, The Lox, Griselda, and members of the Ruff Ryders, Williams appeared onstage, bearing an uncanny resemblance to the actual DMX, where he delivered a passionate monologue that had everyone in awe.
Rest in Peace, Michael. We love you.