Just like millions of people who grew up with good taste in TV, John Boyega was an avid fan of HBO'sThe Wire and its most iconic character: Omar Little, played by the late Michael K. Williams. However, Boyega was blessed to meet the venerable actor on set for their upcoming thriller Breaking, which began filming a few months before Williams's death in September 2021.
In his Men's Health cover story, Boyega described meeting one of his on-screen idols as a "full circle moment," a connection that left him with more than memories and a movie.
In Breaking, Boyega plays former Marine Corps veteran Brian Brown-Easley, who holds an Atlanta bank hostage with a bomb after being denied Veterans Affairs support. Williams plays hostage negotiator Sergeant Eli Bernard, who's trying to deescalate the situation, in part, by appealing to Boyega's humanity.
Williams unknowingly gifted his younger co-star with something else Boyega admired about Williams, besides his acting: his scent. During their first day on set, Williams gave Boyega a cologne from a small Black-owned business.
"It's finishing, and I feel sad about it," Boyega told Men's Health. "I always say that Michael K. Williams is the nicest-smelling man in the industry. His smell is ridiculous."
Williams was generous with both his scent and his time on the set of Breaking. Boyega told Entertainment Tonight on the red carpet at the 2022 ESPY Awards that he personally requested the award-winning actor to be part of the film. Williams obliged, and was "paid peanuts just to be a part of the art," according to Boyega.
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