baaa-aaack! Everyone on The Wire,
even the baddest of the bad, know that Omar Little is no joke. From the vets
like Avon and Wee-Bey to the new jacks like Marlo and Michael, there is a
healthy fear of Omar’s wrath in the streets.
probably said it best before his unavoidable death, when he declared he’d be laying
low “out of respect for that man’s skill set” once Omar’s return to Baltimore
K. Williams brings Omar’s “Robin Hood” style to the screen in such a believable
way that even the harshest of critics praise his name. When we spoke to Michael in January 2007, he let us know that he wasn’t concerned with being stereotyped as
long as he was working. Thankfully, he’s transcending the thug and cop roles
with roles in films alongside Ed Norton and Charlize Theron.
We took some
quality time to speak with Michael about his new movies, his beginnings as a
dancer, his concern for the community and his mission to succeed with the Czar
We saw last season Omar threw his guns away, went out of the country and pretty
much retired from the game. Talk to us about the frame of mind of Omar then to
now realizing that he has to come back.
Michael K. Williams: He came back with the mindset that he’s prepared to die,
because I think he took Butchie’s death real hard. He’s prepared to die or kill
AllHipHop.com: Explain the relationship between Omar and Butchie [for those just
catching up with The Wire].
Michael: Butchie’s like a godfather or an uncle figure to Omar, that’s one of
the only people [that he would consider to be family] besides his grandmother,
who he takes to church. It’s a real deep respect that Omar has for Butchie.
AllHipHop.com: Now that Cheese has been basically brought to the dark side with
Marlo and Prop Joe is gone, what is Omar looking at? Other than being prepared
to die, is he seeing this as a death of the entire system of what he’s known?
Michael: Throughout the season you’re gonna see what he’s made of. Omar’s the
last of a dying breed, there’s no more codes and order as far as the street
life is concerned. He’s fighting to keep that alive, but it’s a whole new
generation coming up and they just don’t care about those ethics. It’s
unfortunate, but he’s like a dinosaur to those guys. There’s really no one of
his caliber walking the streets that feels the way he does about the codes – or
at least that’s how it seems.
AllHipHop.com: You did a lot of dancing before you ever got into acting. Do you
ever plan on getting into any musicals or any way you can use that?
Michael: Sure, I would love to do a musical. If I could bring both worlds
together, that would be the perfect setting. I would definitely get back on
stage in a situation like that.
AllHipHop.com: You were dancing for Crystal Waters – that means you’re a little
crazy with the house dancing too.
Michael: Yeah I’m a huge house head, I love house music. She’s a very good
friend of mine, she basically took me around the world actually. [laughs]
AllHipHop.com: Being that you’re a Brooklyn native, how did you get into house
Michael: I don’t know really. Growing up in in the city I remember sneaking
into The Garage, Loft and all of the big clubs back then in the ’80s – they
played house music and whatnot. My cousin knew her way around the city, she was
always one to get up on the train and go by herself. She knew things that I
didn’t know, and basically exposed me to all of that. That’s how I got into
house music, basically being with her, and then I just started dancing.
AllHipHop.com: Acting wise, what are you working on now and what do you have
coming up in the next year?
Michael: I got two films coming up this year, one is The Hulk 2 with Ed Norton, and I’m in the new Spike Lee joint
called Miracle At St. Anna, which is
based on the Buffalo Soldier story of the 92nd infantry. I just booked this new
picture called The Road with Charlize
Theron. I’m excited about that and eager to work with her. I’m just cranking
them out little by little.
AllHipHop.com: Do you feel like these new roles for you are out of the norm?
Michael: I’m definitely growing as an actor in Hollywood, I’m definitely
starting to get looked at in different lights as opposed to just being that
thug dude. But I’m still proud of the roles that I get, and tomorrow I’d still
do another thug role if I had to. If they gave me the opportunity it would be
AllHipHop.com: Do you plan on going back into TV as well?
Michael: They say never say never, so I’m not gonna say I would never go back
into television, but my sights are definitely geared towards the silver screen.
Coming off of a show like The Wire,
especially off of a network like HBO, it’s hard to push all of that back into a
little box. Even though The Wire was
on a little screen, HBO is a beast where you can do pretty much whatever you
wanted to do. I would never be able to get that freedom like that again on a
regular network, but if the right project came along of course I would do
it. But right now my eyes are definitely set on the big screen.
AllHipHop.com: How did you link up with Czar Entertainment and what are your
goals working with them as management?
Michael: Jimmy and I grew up together in Flatbush, Brooklyn. I watched his
career as he went from Jimmy H. to Jimmy Henchmen and now just Jimmy Rosemond.
Even before I booked The Wire when I
took a break from the industry for two years because things weren’t going my
direction, I decided to work with my mother in her day care, I became her
administrative assistant. Two years after that I was ready to get back in the
business and I tracked Jimmy down and said, “J, I think you’re the man to
take me to the promised land” and he’s been working with me ever since.
This was before The Wire, we
reconnected and he took me in and started representing me, and The Wire hit and it’s been history.
AllHipHop.com: Are you getting into fashion or any other industries at all?
Michael: I don’t have any plans to get into fashion, but you never say never.
Right now my main thing is using my status to get a lot of speaking engagements
talking to the kids a lot, giving back to the community. I’m actually on my way
to Trenton [New Jersey] right now, with the mayor of Trenton, we’re gonna have
a forum speaking against gang violence out there. As we all know Trenton is on
fire right now, so I’m doing things like that reaching out to the community and
talking to the kids. I got a Career Day coming up in Brooklyn on the 15th,
going to the elementary school giving back to my hood, and just reconnect with
the community and see my little brothers and sisters.
AllHipHop.com: If you can have a legacy to leave behind for people, what do you
want them to know about you?
Michael: Mike’s just being a cool a** dude [laughs]. I’m pretty much
happy go lucky, I don’t even try to stress too much about any one thing but
anybody that knows me knows that Mike is cool. That’ll probably read on my
tombstone: Here lays MKW, a cool a** dude. [laughs]