Edward Norton Honors Michael K. Williams in Emotional Message: ‘Punched in the Gut’

by Matthew Memrick

The news of actor Michael K. Williams’s death on Monday was a “punch in the gut” to fellow actor Edward Norton.

Edward Norton, who directed and starred with Williams in the 2019 film “Motherless Brooklyn,” went on to say that “working with him was one of the greatest privileges I’ve had in my career.”

The two also appeared together in the 2008 film “The Incredible Hulk.”

In another poignant Tweet, Norton said Williams. “had a really rare gift for being fully present at the moment and for conveying the layers under the words.”

The 52-year-old actor praised Williams for being kind and generously enthusiastic.

“I’ll be forever grateful that he graced “Motherless Brooklyn” and that I got to share space and time with him.” 

Others commented on Edward Norton’s Tweet, trying to echo the sentiment.

“It’s always sad to lose a talented actor,” Twitter user @DonnaResist said. “Many wonderful actors have gone too quickly: Robin Williams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, George Carlin, and now Michael K Williams. Yet, they are captured on film for the enjoyment of future generations. Rest In Peace Michael.”

In Edward Norton’s film, Williams played the role of “Trumpet Man” for a Miles Davis-like band. Williams mimed the playing, and jazz legend Wynton Marsalis played the notes. Williams meant to portray a hot-headed, raspy-voiced trumpeter in the vein of Miles Davis.  

Like Edward Norton, Country Star Was In Awe Of Williams

Country music star Jason Isbell was one of the thousands who the former actor touched.

Hours after the news broke, Isbell shared a touching moment of crossing paths with Williams in New York.

Isbell said he was “too nervous to say hello, so he walked around the block to work up his nerve.” 

The star said he couldn’t do it, but he adored and admired the actor’s body of work.

Another actor, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, also shared his thoughts.

“We lost one of our best, most talented,” Morgan tweeted. “RIP #MichaelKWilliams. Breaks my heart.” 

Williams Had Talent

Michael K. Williams started his career at 22 as a professional dancer, according to his official biography. A four-time Emmy nominee, the Brooklyn native worked in Harlem’s National Black Theatre Company before his film debut with Mickey Rourke and Tupac Shakur in the 1996 film “Bullet.”

According to CNBC, Williams went on to act in 111 television shows and movies. Among them, he had impressive television roles in “The Wire” and “Boardwalk Empire.” In addition to Edward Norton’s “Motherless Brooklyn,” he appeared in “12 Years A Slave,” “Gone Baby Gone,” and a host of other notable movies.

According to IMDB, he will appear in the upcoming films “892” and “Surrounded.”

Norton Staying Busy

According to IMDB, Edward Norton is working on the sequel to “Knives Out!” Next month, he has a role in the Wes Anderson movie “French Dispatch” with several notable stars.