[Interview] Michael K. Williams on Being Intimidated in ‘Boardwalk Empire’: “I Always Wanted to be Around People That Were Better Than Me”

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We’re huge fans of Boardwalk Empire. The series brought out our inner mobster and has us glued to the screen every Sunday on HBO. Actor Michael K. Williams is one of our favorite characters. The actor first made headlines when he starred in The Wire but he traded his Baltimore swag for a time warp back to the 1920s as Chalky. Similar roles put in different eras, Williams easily transforms into this role well. While we were at the Boardwalk Empire Season 4 LA Premiere hosted by Diddy, we caught up with the actor to chat about the new season. Press play to check out what he had to say.

 Jasmine BRAND: Do you relate to that character the most or do you relate to another character on the show?

Michael K. Williams: I relate to all my characters. That’s how I bring truth and reality to them. It’s I have to find something within their characteristics and demeanor which I can relate to and I feel in myself, of whatever it may be. So yeah, there’s definitely qualities of Chalky that I relate to.

michael k williams-jeffrey wright-boardwalk empire season 4 launch-the jasmine brand

Do you ever feel intimidated playing roles like ‘Boardwalk Empire’?

Yeah I’m always intimidated. I’m still a baby in this business I consider myself. You know when they told me they were bringing Jeffrey Wright to go through the toll with me, I was extremely intimidated. Steve Buscemi, another veteran that I was intimidated by. They really make me step my game up. They welcome me and I feed off of them, I learn from them, just in little things I watch them, I watch them work and fix; and learn and apply it to myself so, you know – I always wanted to be around people that were better than me, that’s how I get better. And I’m constantly surrounded by people who I think, are better than me.

You know, everybody asks all the time – would you consider doing ‘The Wire’ again, like if it came back? The show, that we all fell in love with?

If the script is right, you know, David Simon of course would have to give his blessing but if the script is right, the project felt right, of course, why not?

When’s the last time you cried?

What was the last time I cried? Wow, I’m telling you awhile that I cried a little, like last week. 


 I can’t remember!

Was it like the ugly-cry, or it was like the manly-one-tear came down?

I think it was, I was just – I don’t know what the hell am I crying about – just felt like, I don’t know. I really don’t remember. I think last week or two weeks ago – it wasn’t a boo-hoo cry but it was one of them like “Damn!”.

Moving on, how does a man know that he’s in love?

How does a man know that he’s in love? When he starts spinning that money. When that man start going in them pockets, he’s in love.

Okay, last question – what does God mean to you?

God is my best friend. God – I’m so cool with God. Sometimes he’d let me call him ‘Me’.

jasmine brand-boardwalk empire-michael k williams-the jasmine brand

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