The Wire convinced Michael Kenneth Williams he really was Omar Little. The ruthless swagger and enormous respect seeped in his bones. The Brooklyn stick-up kid was discovered by Tupac. He was a back up dancer for Madonna & George Michael, before killing his break out role in The Wire, as Omar. It changed his life personally and professionally. Williams adapted to the gangster life, and used his Omar Little character as an alter ego. While the starring role brought him fame and fortune, it pushed him into a path of demons.
“When I got bitten by the bug of show business, I was so broken and so shattered,” said Williams. “I’ve been spared so many times in my life. Whatever you want to call the higher power — God, Buddha, Allah, whatever — I believe that a higher power has spared my life because there’s a bigger purpose for me.”
“That job was the most money I made in my life,” said Williams. “But the darkness of the character weighed on my psyche so much that when the show ended, I was completely unequipped [to cope with that darkness]. I was hurting myself in every possible way you could imagine.”
He continued, “And it wasn’t always about doing drugs. It was negative company, negative places. I was dark-minded, bad decisions one after another. But someone was looking out for me because I never stopped working. I stay blessed to be continuously working. Otherwise I would have had no place to escape from the (negativity). I would have slit my throat. The ability to put all of this into characters was a lifesaver.”
Williams is super booked these days, while most of us can’t even land an audition. Kenneth went on to star in Boardwalk Empire and 12 Years A Slave. LATimes claims Michael has more than a dozen film and TV projects popping. He shined bright in Ghost Busters, Bessie, Hap & Leonard – all while producing and hosting Black Market. His current role as Freddy in The Night Of is keeping Michael in the big leagues. Writers and directors are very impressed with his ‘quiet intelligence.’ The Spoils Before Dying has him rubbing shoulders with Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig. Of all the characters, Williams admits none touched his heart like gay activist, Ken Jones, in When We Rise.
Find out how Michael Kenneth Williams got the long scar near his eye HERE>>