Michael K. Williams was not only the kind of actor you couldn’t tear your eyes from – his portrayal of Omar Little in The Wire is one of the most spellbinding performances on television to date – but he was also somewhat of a sage. He had the unique ability to reflect on his own life, and the difficult circumstances he’d experienced, while also translating his own self-awareness to others – a rare and precious gift. He didn’t shy away from telling his truth.
Just look at the way the actor told The Guardian in 2015 how it had been difficult to adjust to fame after the success of The Wire, admitting he’d used his role as Omar “as a means of escape”. “Now I don’t use my job as a way to define me: it’s what I do, not who I am,” he said. “I have that understanding now.”
He followed that up in another interview by admitting Omar had become “an alter ego” – one he could hide behind. “He’s an outcast, and I identified with that immensely. Instead of using it as a tool to maybe heal myself, I hid behind that. Nobody was calling Michael in the streets….