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Williams moved to the neighborhood three years ago and comes to this park frequently in order to “be with Michael and reflect on the day’s events.Just decompress.” Whenever Williams refers to “Michael,” it sounds like he’s talking about someone else.As he stands on North 6th Street after lunch, a cross-section of fans file by. A middle-aged man more old Williamsburg than new sidles up for a photo, shocked to learn that Williams lives around here. Williams portrayed one of the most iconic characters in TV history when he played Omar Little on HBO's "The Wire," a gay, shotgun-toting stick-up man who robbed from drugdealers to give to the poor. In the end, I was more comfortable with Omar’s skin than my own.He would drive around ground zero, listening to Tupac, downing Paxil “like they was Skittles.” Seeing himself on a late-night Sopranos rerun pushed him to pursue acting one last time. Williams poured his own “brokenness” into a character that could have easily seemed preposterous. “People been making assumptions about me way before The Wire,” he says, laughing.
You’re just surprised that “this area” is Williamsburg. Mike livin’ his life.” The Wire ended four years ago, but the series is more popular than ever thanks to a devout, DVD-lending fan base, college courses devoted to The Wire as sociology, and shout-outs from President Obama, whose favorite character happens to be Omar.
, Williams, who's currently starring as Chalky White on "Boardwalk Empire," revealed that he turned in the legendary performance while living a double-life as a cocaine addict getting high on the streets of Newark, New Jersey.“I was playing with fire," Williams admitted.
“It was just a matter of time before I got caught and my business ended up on the cover of a tabloid or I went to jail or, worse, I ended up dead.
Life changed again when Tupac Shakur encouraged him to act.
Soon, he was impressing Martin Scorsese (who directed him in 1999’s Bringing Out the Dead) and, owing partly to the mesmeric scars across his face and neck — the result of a bar fight when he was 25 — getting cast on Law & Order: SVU and The Sopranos.