'Night of' Star Michael K. Williams Says His Character Freddy is a Victim Too

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The veteran actor talks Freddy's flaws and how falling into traps set up by his surroundings derailed his character's future.

If you’ve been watching the critically beloved HBO miniseries The Night Of, then you know how complicated a character Freddy is. He’s manipulative and struggles with drug abuse but also yearns to learn and has a code of honor.

Michael Kenneth Williams, who became a TV rock star with his portrayals as Omar Little on The Wire and Chalky White on Boardwalk Empire, plays Freddy and said he is neither a good nor a bad guy. Freddy is the one protecting Naz (star Riz Ahmed) while he’s at Rikers awaiting his murder trial. But as viewers have learned as the tale has progressed, this type of protection comes at a steep price. 

“Freddy is actually a victim,” Williams, 49, said at a recent screening in Los Angeles promoting the drama. “Freddy had a lot of potential and a budding career as a champion boxer. For whatever reason, be it a lack of education or a lack of self-esteem, he made bad choices that landed him in prison. He succumbed to the stereotypes and traps set up in his community."

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“He had a shot. He’s not stupid,” Williams added. “I’m not putting all of the bad decisions he made on his community, or what was missing in his community, but I would dare to say that had some part to play in it.” 

Speaking of parts to play, viewers still don’t know for sure if Naz killed Andrea (Sofia Black-D’Elia) or if it was one of the three possible suspects the show’s writers have introduced as of late. Even with so much uncertainty and so few episodes left, at least The Night Of and its impressive cast are worth the watch. 

The Night Of airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. 

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