Michael K. Williams may be best known for his gritty, generation-defining role as Omar from “The Wire,” and most recently for his compelling and nuanced portrayal of Montrose on HBO’s “Lovecraft Country,” but here’s what you might not know…
The brother can dance.
And we mean dance dance.
Williams, the youngest of ten children, started his career as a dancer, touring with global icons like Madonna and George Michael. He also choreographed—and performed—the moves for Crystal Waters’ 1994 hit “100% Pure Love.”
Williams, who also played Chalky White on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” has shared his love for dance in several interviews, telling his childhood friend and inspiration Queen Latifah that he first dreamed of being a back-up dancer for Janet Jackson.
“All I wanted to be was a dancer. I didn’t really have any thoughts on being an actor when I first got into the arts,” Williams said in 2018 on People TV’s “Couch Surfing.”
Williams, who has openly discussed his turbulent youth, said that being sliced in the face with a razor blade changed his career—and his life—when Tupac Shakur specifically asked for him to play his brother in the film Bullet. It would be Williams’ first movie role.
“I think he saw my pain, my struggle, my heart,” Williams told NPR. “I was starstruck. I was like, ‘Wow, this is Tupac Shakur.’ “
Now, during a time when Black joy is so needed, and the freedom of Black bodies in motion feels especially urgent, video has emerged of Williams channeling the ancestors and the House music gods as he dances his soul to what feels like healing to “Celebration” by Djeff Afrozila Feat. Ade Alafia (Manoo’s Aitf Remix).
“Let’s really talk about range,” @BougieBlackness tweeted Thursday. “This was Michael K Williams dancing to house the other day in the city. A man of many talents.”
Watch below and get your entire life. And salute to his dance partner, who is perfectly in sync with him, for pouring energy, love, and support into the artist. The sharing embodied here is transcendent.