‘Law & Order: Organized Crime’ Star Mykelti Williams Hopes to ‘Crush Stereotypes’ With New Career Path

by Suzanne Halliburton
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The last we saw of Law & Order: Organized Crime star Mykelti Williamson, police had discovered his dead body. They immediately suspected that the wife killed Preston Webb, the NYC businessman and secret mobster. But that was all called into question in the final scene of the finale.

So we’re not sure whether Williamson is returning for Law & Order: Organized Crime season three. But Williamson, either way, still is involved in the Dick Wolf universe of shows on NBC and CBS. But he’s not acting in them. Rather, he’s directing. He dabbled in directing early in his career. He wants to add more projects.

“I’ve been a director since the ’70s, but I put it on a back burner until five years ago,” Williamson told Closer Weekly in an interview posted this weekend. “I’m passionate about making really good movies that represent humanity on its highest level and crush stereotypes. That’s where I’m headed.”

On Law & Order: Organized Crime, Williamson played a corrupt businessman. On the outside, he looked like a community leader. He had a successful business. Wife Cassandra (Jennifer Beals) owned an upscale gallery. The two are philanthropists. They even saw the birth of a grandchild this season. It all seems so very normal for this successful power couple. Then you’d see Preston Webb order hits. Or stab a wayward lieutenant in the hand while everyone was at dinner.

Williamson directed four episodes of Chicago Med and three of Chicago P.D. Those are fellow Dick Wolf-created shows on NBC. He also directed an hour of FBI, which is part of the Wolf Production series on CBS. Thompson also directed a couple of episodes of Sweet Magnolias on Netflix. That show is an exact opposite of Law & Order: Organized Crime. It falls three South Carolina women. They’re all best friends since childhood. And the show follows their romances and family lives.

Law & Order: Organized Crime fans know Mykelti Williamson as Preston Webb. But back in 1994, Williamson co-starred in Forrest Gump with Tom Hanks and Gary Sinise. (Vince Bucci/AFP via Getty Images)

Williamson is 65. He started acting as a child. And some of his top guest-starring roles were in classic TV shows of the 1970s and 80s, like Starsky & Hutch, Miami Vice, Hill Street Blues and China Beach. His break-through role probably came in the movie, Forrest Gump. He played the shrimp-loving Bubba, Forrest’s buddy who died in the Vietnam War.

“That role changed my life,” Williamson said. It made him “kick into gear to prove that the studio didn’t just find some quirky looking guy with a protruding lip for the part. It was actually an actor doing character work.”

Williamson also added: “I’m most proud of the change that I am seeing in Hollywood,” Williamson said. “Don’t get me wrong, there are still people who behave and write characters as if they were doing Birth of a Nation. But I see other people who are really putting forth an effort to change [negative] images. I’m really proud to see that evolution and the people who want to make a good difference in the lives of others.”

Season three of Law & Order: Organized Crime premieres Sept. 22. The show has yet to announce details on story arcs they have planned for the fall and spring. Williamson’s arc about the Marcy Killers represented the final eight episodes of season two. Preston Webb also made an appearance during last fall’s storyline about the Albanian mob.

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