Our OnDemand’s been a little wonky the past few weeks so shh nobody say what’s been happening on The Wire since Jimmy’s gone McNutty and started tying red bracelets on corpses. While we’re waiting to get caught up on that and the progress of Omar’s revenge, though, we stumbled across a nugget about Mr. Little (Michael K. Williams)’s music-video dancer past. At 23 in NYC, as a business management student, he saw Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” video. And it was all over. Thereafter he started taking dance classes, one thing lead to another and, this via his Hobo Trashcan interview:
I did a bunch of music videos. That’s how I got really started acting from the dancing. The life of a dancer, New York City, it’s whatever – tour, music video, whatever you get your hands on … That went on for a couple years and shit, I got something like 50 or 60 music videos under my belt, and then toward then end I started getting gigs with Marcus Nispel – a director, George Michael, Madonna, Shabba Ranks – Shabba Ranks was the shit back then, you know what I mean? Taylor Dane, all these big artists, they’d make characters in these videos, that was when I started getting my first glimpse as to what it is to be an actor.
Anybody who does a video, it’s a lot of hours on the set, so I started learning a lot. I learned set lingo – lock it up, action, what a frame is, how to conduct yourself, how to conserve your energy for 10 hours then look like you just got there in the 11th hour and work for four more hours. You have to learn to pace yourself and I got all that training off the music videos and I was like, damn, if I had some lines, I could do this, because Nispel’s screaming (in a German accent), “Michael emote, emote Michael, pain,” doing this George Michael video and then I worked with Madonna and got to work with Melody McDaniels and that’s when I knew I could do this.
A freeze frame from Omar’s brush with Madonna, in “Secret”…
The cheese stands, not quite alone. Watch the whole vid here (that grab’s at 2:13). And in other Madonna news, her collab with Justin Timberlake and his crushed balls is just about ready to drop. A little preview of “4 Minutes” here. You’ll want your 17 seconds back.
Incidentally, if you can’t tell from that screengrab, Omar’s face gash is no makeup job; Michael’s been having that forehead cut, ya feel me. On how he got it:
It was my 25th birthday, I was in a bar, shit got hot, drinking, then words got exchanged and bottom line, there was more of them then there was of me, dudes had razors in their mouths and I got cut. Wrong place, wrong time basically. Wrong drink. That definitely woke me up. That definitely was a life altering experience. I almost died that night.
And its effect:
After I got cut in my face, a lot of music video gigs and photography jobs started coming in, so I started doing a little modeling and a lot more music videos. I guess because I had this edge, this look of a thug, I started getting calls after a while not to dance, but to portray roles in videos.
There’s a lesson in that for you kids, aspiring to get into the industry: When faced with a decision of walking away, or fighting a gang of dudes with razors in their mouths, don’t be a pussy and throw the fuck down. Yeah you might die. But if you don’t, you will end up looking, and being, the awesomest.