John Boyega Remembers Michael K. Williams at “Breaking” Premiere: “We Cheered Each Other On”

Getty / Paras Griffin / Stringer / Gilbert Flores

“Breaking” was Michael K. Williams’s last film before he died, and his costar John Boyega remembers well the day he met the star on set. “He was bubbly,” Boyega said to Variety at the film’s Los Angeles premiere on Aug. 24. “The first time I met him, he accidentally walked into my trailer. We spoke, and we cheered each other on, gave each other words of encouragement, which is very important. And from then on, we were on set working. And it was great.”

The film’s director, Abi Damaris Corbin, also shared some incredibly positive memories of the icon. “He was royalty on our set,” Corbin said at the premiere, per Variety. “He was the godfather. He was the king. He turned up when I first met him with Beats [headphones] around his shoulders, because he had already started preparing for the role.”

Fellow “Breaking” star Nicole Beharie also recently paid tribute to Williams at the premiere of her film “Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul.” “He was one of the most generous people I had ever worked with,” she said, according to Variety. “He came in to do my off-screen when we’re on the phone together,” she recalled. “Such a professional to come in and do my off-screen on his day off. I get so emotional just talking about him. He lit up the screen in anything he had ever done. On set, he was just beautiful. He smelled like heaven. He walked in with a cape on one day. It was like silk. Every day was like a party. It was just, don’t waste a day.”

“Breaking” stars Boyega as a Marine Corps veteran who robs a bank, while the late Williams plays police negotiator Eli Bernard. Williams died of a drug overdose at age 54 on Sept. 6, 2021, leaving behind a legacy of extraordinary performances, from “Inherent Vice” to “Boardwalk Empire” to his breakthrough performance as Omar Little on “The Wire.”

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