Michael K. Williams‘ untimely passing from what reportedly is being called a suspected drug overdose has many of his loved ones and fans revisiting some of his memorable moments, such as an interview the beloved actor did earlier this year shortly after wrapping up production on HBO’s “Lovecraft Country.” During his appearance Williams spoke candidly about his past struggles and how a project he was involved in gave him the push to seek therapy.
Months before being found dead in his Brooklyn, New York, penthouse, Williams revealed to television show host Tamron Hall that his now-final film, “Body Brokers,” pushed him to seek help from a mental health professional after years of battling addiction.
“I just started therapy, you know, and really taking that seriously and starting to unpack, like you said, the critic in my head and what and how that has affected my — my actions, my responses to certain situations, my relationships,” Williams said, noting that his role bought back memories of his own bouts with addiction.
According to its description, the crime thriller written and directed by John Swab follows a drug addict brought to Los Angeles for treatment who soon learns the treatment center is not meant to help people. Instead, it is a coverup for a fraud operation enlisting addicts to recruit other addicts.
Williams admitted the script “quite frankly, made me sick to my stomach,” reminding him of his own journey watching TV commercials for “elaborate, beautiful” recovery centers “when I was crying myself to sleep and listening to BeBe and CeCe Winans.” The late star said he often believed if he had access to those luxury treatment centers he would for once rid himself of his addiction, but he later learned that things didn’t work in that manner.
“People often think that when a person puts down the drugs or the alcohol, that all the problems go away,” Williams said. “That couldn’t be further from the truth. Drugs and alcohol are not the problems, they’re merely symptoms of the problem. And once those things go away, the real work begins. Working on all the character defects, the skewed moral compass. Those are things that need to be addressed. Those are the reasons why we got high in the first place and our inability to deal with life on life’s terms.”
Williams was noted for getting lost in many of the roles he played, which he says happened portraying Omar in “The Wire.”
“For me, when ‘The Wire’ was coming to an end, I had no legs to stand on. I had stopped doing the work on myself. Shutting down the inner critic in my head, and I went from being a shy, dark-skinned kid from the hood who was a little corny to all of a sudden everybody is like, ‘Yo, man, I love you,’” he explained. “But the problem was they were calling me Omar (Williams’ character name from The Wire) and not Michael. Omar. Michael. Who gives a damn; it’s a name, right? But nah, that was the beginning of me losing myself, losing my identity.”
When authorities arrived at Williams’ home — the actor was initially found by a relative — they found drug paraphernalia. According to TMZ, citing unidentified sources, police say a search has been launched for the person who sold the drugs to the star, as fentanyl is being looked at as a significant component in this incident.