Mykelti Williamson is back in action in yet another iconic Dick Wolf franchise with Law & Order: Organized Crime.
“Anytime you have an opportunity to work with the caliber of people I’ve worked with at Chicago Med, Chicago PD, and here in the Wolf world in New York, it’s beautiful,” Williamson told Shadow and Act in a recent interview. “I feel privileged to be here, Dick Wolf is the reason I came back and Jonathan Strauss, who’s a casting wizard. The casts that he assembles are mind-blowing, but just to be chosen by that cat to come back and grind, it’s a blessing.”
Williamson is Preston Webb , whom he refers to as "lovingly" and "dangerously ambitious" as he, alongside his wife Cassandra (Jennifer Beals), attempt to leave a life of crime behind them to build an empire that can help bring about the “good” in the world for a change.
“One thing that Preston is doing is that he has studied the history of the world and his wife is extremely astute as well,” Williamson explained. “He’s also from the streets so after realizing that some of the banks in America started as mob banks before they began bettering themselves and making loans for people to own homes and this and that, he wanted to do something similar – you know, no industry is perfect.”
His character is proof that one can be a good person who was once led astray, striving to get back on the correct path, but constantly being met with some of those mistakes of the past.
Law & Order: Organized Crime airs Thursday nights at 10 p.m. on NBC.
“If you look at the journeys that people take, they start with very humble, sometimes dangerous beginnings, but if you look at Preston and the Webb family you know we’re trying to get to a good place," he shared with S&A.
“We’re trying to build the next Amazon so that we can give back to our community and elevate people,” said Williamson. “That’s why you see us building clinics and foundations and all of this stuff. We’re trying to offset the sinful life that we live in because we’re people of faith and we’re challenged by it. We just believe in God to give us that extra chance.”
While they are people of faith, Williamson notes that nowhere in the story does it say what that exact practice is.
“There are people who have faith, but they have to go to some very dark places,” he continued. “So their faith is challenged and I didn’t say that they were Christians. If people have faith, then they have some growth areas, so it’s fun to play people like that because that’s real folks everyday anyway.”
While Organized Crime is a part of the Law & Order franchise, it’s very different as its main focus is on crime families, crime syndicates, and some of the most dangerous people belonging to the underworld.
“It’s kind of cool to specifically see what it’s like and how a lot of these big, wealthy illegal activity type personalities are brought down,” Williamson noted. “But some of them are brought down and a lot of them squeak right on past and run another business and legitimize themselves without ever looking back at what they’ve done. They try to do better and that’s what we [the Webbs] are trying to do.”
No stranger to working in front of the camera, Williamson has portrayed some of the culture’s most iconic characters from Bubba in Forrest Gump to “leather-wearin’ in the summertime” Troy in Waiting to Exhale. After taking some time to sit in the director’s chair and to take on characters in other Dick Wolf series prior to his work as Preston Webb, Williamson hopes to soon share another talent of his with the world – his music.
“At some point I’m going to share my music with the world," Williamson added.
“And I say share it, because of course we’ll do what we can to monetize it a little bit so we can help some people, because that’s where my heart’s really at,” Williamson expressed. “I’ll release some of this music so people can see what I do and what God gives me when I’m like blowing my harmonica because I’m a little different than other styles. Some people are straight blues, I just kind of do that Mykelti and it seems to be working and I’m enjoying it.”
Watch Law & Order: Organized Crime Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.