Wendell Pierce has paid heartfelt tribute to The Wire co-star Michael K. Williams, who on Monday was found dead at the age of 54.
Pierce played Detective Bunk Moreland to Williams’ Omar Little, with the duo’s bench scene in Season 3’s “Homecoming” (embedded below) often cited as one of the acclaimed HBO crime drama’s very best moments.
“The depth of my love for this brother, can only be matched by the depth of my pain learning of his loss,” Pierce said at the start of a long Twitter thread. “A immensely talented man with the ability to give voice to the human condition portraying the lives of those whose humanity is seldom elevated until he sings their truth.
“His name was Michael K. Williams,” he continued. “He shared with me his secret fears then stepped out into his acting with true courage, acting in the face of fear, not in the absence of it…. He was proud of the artist he had become, asking for my advice long after he had surpassed any [insight] I could have shared. Always truthful, never inauthentic. The kindest of persons. Like two mischievous kids, we would laugh and joke whenever we would meet.”
Referring to the bench scene in which Bunk tries and fails to get intel from Omar, then calls him out for being one of the “predatory motherf—ers” who represent the worst of the community, Pierce said, “we aimed to take that moment in time together and say something about Black men. Our struggle with ourselves, internally, and each other. For me and Mike we had nothing but respect… So to you, my brother Mike, there is a small comfort that I know, you knew how much we loved you.”
Pierce closed out his tribute by quoting the playwright Arthur Miller:
“There is a certain immortality involved in theater, not created by monuments and books, but through the knowledge an actor keeps to his dying day that on a certain afternoon, in an empty and dusty theater, he cast the shadow of a being that was not himself but the distillation of all that he had ever observed; all the unsingable heart song the ordinary man may feel but never utter, he gave voice to. And by that somehow joins the ages.”
“Mike… you joined the ages,” he added. “Farewell my friend, Love Wendell”