homeaboutarchivepodcastnewslettermembership!
aboutarchivepodcastmembership!
aboutarchivemembers!

kottke.org posts about Michael K. Williams

“What Are We Going to Say This Year?”

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 13, 2021

The Wire creator David Simon wrote about his friend and colleague Michael K. Williams, who died suddenly last week at the age of 54. The Question Michael K. Williams Asked Me Before Every Season of ‘The Wire’:

And from that moment forward, his questions about our drama and its purposes were those of someone sharing the whole of the journey. It became something of a ritual with us: To begin every season that followed, Michael K. Williams would walk into the writers’ office and sit on the couch.

“So,” he would ask, “what are we going to say this year?”

He gave us an astounding gift — an act of faith from a magnificent actor who could have played his hand very differently. Television usually chases its audience — if they love them some Omar, you feed them more Omar. If they can’t stop looking at Stringer, you write more Stringer. Never mind story and theme.

Instead, Mike bent his beautiful mind to a task that even the best writers and show runners often avoid. He thought about the whole story, the whole of the work.

Perhaps more than any in that talented cast, I came to trust Mike to speak publicly to our drama and its purposes, to take personal pride in all that we were trying, however improbably, to build. He became increasingly political as the show aged, and in interviews took to addressing societal and political issues, his arguments ranging well beyond Omar’s arc.

“I started to realize that, oh, this is not about me,” Williams once told an interviewer, looking back. “It had everything to do with … just great tapestry, this great narrative of social issues … things that are wrong in our country.”

See also tributes from Wendell Pierce and other actors & filmmakers who worked with Williams.

Michael K. Williams asks Michael K. Williams: You think I’m being typecast?

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 20, 2017

Actor Michael K. Williams — who played Omar Little in The Wire and Chalky White in Boardwalk Empire — has a conversation with himself, musing if he’s been typecast for a certain type of role.

Face it, we from a certain type a people that come from a type a place that look a type a way. You know what that make us?

For a promotional video (for The Atlantic), that was unexpectedly poignant.

Michael K Williams to star as Ol’ Dirty Bastard in ODB movie

posted by Aaron Cohen   Mar 22, 2012

OK, Internet, shut it down. We’ve had enough for the day. I recognize this news will be relevant and interesting to only a small percent of the Kottke population, but to those people, it is extremely and earthshatteringly relevant. Personally, my ears started ringing while reading the headline. Michael K Williams, best known for his role as Omar on The Wire, will play Ol’ Dirty Bastard in an upcoming movie.

Titled Dirty White Boy, the film focuses on the offbeat friendship between the Wu-Tang Clan co-founder and Jarred Weisfeld, a 22-year-old VH1 production assistant who through a lot of hustle (and the occasional lie) talked his way into becoming the rapper’s manager when Jones was serving a three-year stint in prison in the early 2000s.

(via @mikenizza)

Omar Little Richardson

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 25, 2010

For the ten of you who watch The Wire *and* know who Terry Richardson is, this is for you.

Omar Richardson